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Marshall's Darius George (2) drives the lane against Campbell's Cedric Henderson, Jr. (45) during an NCAA men’s basketball game on Thursday, Nov. 18, 2021, at the Cam Henderson Center in Huntington, W.Va.

HUNTINGTON — An old sports adage is “teams win with stars.”

When those standouts have an off night, however, winning becomes difficult.

That was the case for Marshall University’s men’s basketball squad Thursday night in a 67-65 loss to Campbell at Cam Henderson Center. The Thundering Herd’s two most highly touted players, Taevion Kinsey and Andrew Taylor, combined to go 10 for 30 shooting, 0 for 7 from 3-point range, and neither attempted a free throw. They combined for 20 points, nine rebounds, six assists and two steals.

“Andy and Taevion have to step up and be the scoring leaders,” Marshall coach Danny D’Antoni said after his team fell to 2-1. “They know they’re going to be carrying the load. We have some work to do. I have some work to do to figure out where to go for shots.”

Darius George might be the place to begin. The 6-foot-7 senior was 8 for 13 overall, 2 for 6 from 3-point range, and made all six free throw attempts in scoring a career-high 24 points.

“He gets a lot of hustle points,” D’Antoni said of George. “He plays hard. Offensive rebounds, he’s always going to get a couple of dunks. Coming off the pick and roll he’s going to get a few. Two for six from three, that’s OK. Could be a little better. Six for six on free throws is good. Eight of 13, most of those are hustle points, getting down on the break, putting back a shot. He’s always going to give you those. Those numbers will go anywhere from 12 to 24 like they were tonight.”

Kinsey entered the game averaging 21.5 points and Taylor 11.5. Obinna Anochili-Killen came in averaging 11.5 points and scored 13. The former Chapmanville High School star scored 11 in the season-opening game vs. Wright State and 12 Monday vs. Milligan.

“Obinna had a good game,” D’Antoni said. “I thought his last game was really good and this one was even a little bit better. I think he’s coming into his own a little bit.”

Anochili-Killen said he and his teammates played hard.

“We just have to take this loss and forget about it and focus on the next game coming,” he said of Sunday’s 4 p.m. home contest vs. Jackson State (0-3).

“(Campbell) is offensively sound,” Anochili-Killen said. “Coach told us not to try to do too much and be offensively sound.”

Junior center Goran Miladinovic scored 10 vs. Wright State and six vs. Milligan, He was scoreless in nine minutes against Campbell. D’Antoni didn’t fault the native of Montenegro.

“It’s a tough team to play a 7-footer because they spread you and work you,” D’Antoni said of Miladinovic. “It’s a tough one for Goran to play.”

D’Antoni said he remains optimistic about the season after the loss to Campbell, which led No. 9 Duke before falling 67-56 and is the favorite to win the Big South Conference.

“We just have to keep working and see if we can’t get better,” D’Antoni said.

“Tough game. We’ll get better. We’ll be a much better ballclub down the road.”

Tim Stephens is a sports writer with The Herald-Dispatch.

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