Herd ponders what went wrong
HUNTINGTON -- Marshall's Thundering Herd got off to a good start in the Capital Classic.
Marshall had a seven-point lead against West Virginia in their annual men's basketball clash Wednesday night when the turnover bug afflicted the Herd and greatly aided the Mountaineers in a 69-59 victory at the Charleston Civic Center.
"We've got to be stronger with the ball," the Herd's Nigel Spikes said.
From 14:17 of the first half when Marshall was ahead, 12-5, until halftime when West Virginia moved on top, 31-25, the Herd turned the basketball over 11 times.
Several of the Marshall miscues happened when West Virginia went from its man-to-man defense to a 1-3-1, halfcourt trapping zone.
"I was getting a lot of advice from the bench that we needed to change defenses," WVU Coach Bob Huggins said. "It was just a chance to give them a different look. People get into rhythm and you've got to try to get them out of rhythm."
Marshall (5-4) had 13 turnovers at halftime before getting a grip and ended the game with 17.
The second half also started well for the Herd as Dre Kane went to the rim for a basket and Elijah Pittman sank a 3-point shot that cut the gap to 31-30, with 17:40 still to play.
West Virginia (3-3) pulled away by 11 with 8:54 remaining as Marshall missed too many shots, including several from close range.
"We missed baskets, point blank (range), and we missed open threes," Marshall coach Tom Herrion said. "Our shot selection was not atrocious or bad, relatively speaking. We had good looks."
The Mountaineers didn't shoot great at 37.3 percent from the field and 1-for-6 from the 3-point line, but made up for it by making 24 of 30 foul shots.
Marshall shot 36.5 percent overall, was 9-for-20 on 3-pointers and went 12-for-22 at the foul line.
"It hurts," Marshall forward Elijah Pittman said. "We've got to knock down shots."
West Virginia also outrebounded Marshall, 43 to 35.
D.D. Scarver's 17 points was high for Marshall while Pittman tossed in 16 and Kane added 13.
WVU forward Deniz Kilicli scored 21 while guard Juwan Staten scored 12 and center Aaric Murray grabbed 10 rebounds.