Dre Kane there when it counts
HUNTINGTON -- Before DeAndre Kane entered the media room following Marshall's 61-58 win over UNC Wilmington, the junior guard's voice could be heard bouncing off the tunnel walls of the Cam Henderson Center.
"Who says I can't make free throws?"
It was a far cry from how Kane started the game.
He made the first bucket of the contest but caught an elbow on the play, and ended up in a heap on the court.
Kane was woozy for a while, but returned.
Still, he continued to struggle on offense, missing a dunk on a fast break and a layup that could have given the Marshall Thundering Herd the lead with 21 seconds left in the game.
Kane was fouled after the miss, and sent to the line. There was a noticeable uneasiness among the crowd.
So far this season, Kane has shot 46 percent on free throws.
But No. 50 showed the fans why he is considered the Herd's leader on the floor, as he stepped up and drained both, putting Marshall up by one.
On the next possession, the Seahawks' Craig Ponder, who had 26 points on the night, drove into the lane, where Kane slapped the ball out of his hands, and into those of D.D. Scarver, who was immediately fouled with 1.7 seconds remaining. Scarver, an 87 percent shooter from the line, made both of his free throws and the game was over.
"No doubt that those two were going down from Kane," Thundering Herd coach Tom Herrion said. "You can chuckle, you can roll your eyes. ... he made two winning plays. He made those free throws and then he made the steal to seal it."
When pressed on just how important those free throws were not just in the context of the game, but for Kane himself, Herrion cracked a smile.
"Really good players make really big plays," Herrion said. "He's made big free throws his whole life. What, you think he needs more confidence?
"Everybody believed he was going to make those, on the bench, on the court -- I don't know about those other 6,000 people, if they believed. We did."
Kane said his teammates told him to take the shots with confidence, and that's what he did.
"My guys have major confidence in me and whatever shots I take, and I have major confidence in them," Kane said. "And that's all I did. I went to the line with confidence and I knocked them down."
As for consistency, Kane has been working hard on that. He said it's just a mental thing he has to get over.
"I shot them the same, I really did," Kane said of the two that won the game. "I might have gotten a bit more arc on the ball. If you look at the misses, they're not bad misses to the right or left, they're just too short or two long."
But going forward, Kane summed it up by saying "No excuses. I've just got to knock them down."
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