Herd outmans Eagles
HUNTINGTON — Alice Lloyd was in the wrong gym on the wrong night.
The Marshall Thundering Herd men’s basketball team had lost four consecutive games away from home, including its last three against opponents from the Southeastern Conference (Vanderbilt), Big Ten Conference (Penn State) and Big 12 Conference (West Virginia).
Marshall needed some good things to happen Tuesday night, and a lot of them did.
The Herd blasted the Alice Lloyd Eagles, 121-57, before a turnout of 4,126 spectators in Cam Henderson Center.
“It felt good,” said Marshall point guard Kareem Canty. “It felt good to actually win no matter who we played.”
Alice Lloyd from Pippa Passes in Knott County, Ky., is an NAIA Division II member of the Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.
Marshall could have had a letdown coming off the Saturday loss to West Virginia in Charleston, and head coach Tom Herrion said he was really pleased with the outcome.
“I challenged them on the bus ride back (from Charleston) that we would find out a lot about this group, regardless of the opponent, by how we approached this game.
“They showed me they’ve got some moxie. They were really ready to play and we were very unselfish.”
Marshall (5-6) had six players score in double figures led by Ryan Taylor’s 25.
Chris Thomas (19 points), Shawn Smith (18), Austin Loop (17), Canty (11) and Tamron Manning (11) joined in the fun.
The Herd connected on 64.7 percent of its field goal attempts, sank 15 of 26 from the 3-point line and made 18 of 22 foul shots. Free throw shooting like that likely would have won Saturday against West Virginia when Marshall was just 10-for-24 in a 10-point defeat.
“I thought we were all clicking,” Taylor said. “We were on the same page. Like Coach (Herrion) said, we beat ourselves in the West Virginia game and we truly believe that.
“We just wanted to get a win today.”
Marshall had 30 assists on 44 baskets, topped by Canty with 14.
Yous Mbao collected 14 rebounds, Smith grabbed one dozen to complete a double-double and Marshall hammered the Eagles on the backboards by plus-32.
Thomas opened the game with one of Marshall’s 11 dunks and the Eagles tied it, 2-2, before the Herd took off. The halftime lead was 54-30 and the score was set with 32 seconds to go.
The 64-point margin of victory tied the second largest in Marshall history. The Herd’s most lop-sided win was an 84-point blowout of Salem International (119-35) on Dec. 3, 2009.
Loop, a non-scholarship redshirt freshman guard from South Webster, Ohio, had only two points in his first five college game appearances from off the bench. In a personal-best 13 minutes of action he was 5-for-9 shooting (4-for-7 on 3-pointers) and made all three of his foul shots.
Freshman guard Kevin McNair, also a non-scholarship player, entered the game late and sank four foul shots in five attempts.
Alice Lloyd (6-6) was led by forward Tyler Rogers with 13 points. Isaac Wilson and Cody Stumbo both scored nine while Cody Malicoat netted eight.
The Eagles made only 26.6 percent of their shots.
Marshall is back on the court at 7 p.m. Saturday against an Arkansas State team predicted to finish third in the Sun Belt Conference behind favored Western Kentucky and South Alabama.
Arkansas State (5-4) lost a Tuesday home game in Jonesboro, Ark., against Toledo (10-0), 78-65.