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Herd pressed into action

HUNTINGTON, W.Va.— The Marshall Thundering Herd couldn’t wait to get the basketball season started. And they played like it.

Marshall used fullcourt pressure and pulled away in the second half to beat Fairmont State 84-67 Thursday in an exhibition game.

“The press sometimes wears the opponent over time,” said first-year Marshall head coach Donnie Jones.

“Your legs get a little heavier and they had a few open three’s unfortunately, but fortunately they missed. I thing the pressure works in different ways. They guys are just learning the rotation.”

Mark Dorris, who led the Herd with 25 points, five assists and five steals, liked the pace of the game.

“It was tremendous. I think I was a little over excited because that second win took a long time to kick in,” said Dorris. “I really liked the pace and it seemed to fit our style of play more and we got up and down the floor pretty well tonight.”

Markel Humphrey had 17 points, Tyler Wilkerson 14 points and seven rebounds, and Tirrell Baines 12 points and 10 rebounds.

Thad McFadden led Fairmont State with 24 points — he was 5-of-9 from 3-point range — and seven rebounds.

Marshall led just 39-33 at the half as McFadden scored 17 to keep the Division II Fighting Falcons close.

Dorris scored 12 points and Humphrey 10 in the second half as Marshall forced nine turnovers and began to pull away.

“I as really proud of our guys’ effort tonight. They had great focus in practice. These guys had an opportunity to get out there and play and you can see their conditioning and how hard they have worked,” said Jones.

Marshall hosts West Liberty State Tuesday in their final exhibition game.