WVU tops Marshall in Capital Classic

Published 2:45 am Thursday, January 15, 2009

West Virginia jumped out to an 11-point first half lead and the Marshall men’s basketball team was never able to recover as the Thundering Herd fell 87-76 to the Mountaineers in Capital Classic Wednesday in the Charleston Civic Center.

Freshman Shaquille Johnson led Marshall offensively with 15 points. Fellow rookie Demier Pitts scored 11 points and recorded four assists. Senior forward Markel Humphrey was named the Herd’s Most Valuable Player, finishing with 13 points and eight rebounds.

Darryl Bryant paced the Mountaineers, leading all scorers with 22 points and dishing four assists. The freshman was also 3-of-3 from three-point range. Forward Da’Sean Butler chimed in with 17 points and seven assists and Alex Ruoff scored 15 points, including two three-pointers.

Email newsletter signup

As a team, West Virginia went to the free-throw line 42 times and scored on 30 of those attempts, including 11-of-15 shooting from Bryant. Marshall, conversely, converted on just 14 of 26 attempts from the charity stripe.

West Virginia jumped ahead early as the Mountaineers took a 15-6 lead right out of the gates. Ruoff and Bryant stroked back-to-back three-pointers in the opening moments of the contest. The Mountaineers then extended the margin to 20-8 before the 10-minute mark.

Marshall got back to within nine as Chris Lutz found his range from three and cut the deficit to 22-13. However, it wasn’t enough to stem the tide as Bryant scored five consecutive points. The two teams battled evenly for the rest of the half and Marshall headed to the locker room on the wrong end of a 34-23 margin.

A shot clock malfunction delayed the start of the second half by approximately 15 minutes. The entire second stanza was played without shot clocks as the public address announcer was forced to announce the shot clock in five-second intervals.

Bryant started the second half just as he had ended the first, draining a three pointer just 10 seconds in. Ruoff quickly followed with another trey and the Mountaineers lead was 17 with 19:01 remaining.

Marshall got within 10 points around the 12:00 mark when Pitts made a layup and drew the foul for a three-point play. After a basket by the Mountaineers, Spann once again got the Herd within 10 points, stuffing home a missed layup by Pitts.

The Herd got to within eight but foul trouble began to take its toll as West Virginia reached the double bonus. The Mountaineers continued to shoot well from the free-throw line, making 30-of-42 attempts from the stripe in the second half.

Marshall was able to pull within 10 once more with just 1:30 remaining, but West Virginia iced the game away with clutch foul shooting.



Humphrey 6-9 1-7 13, Baines 1-2 0-0 2, Wilkerson 3-6 3-4 9, Pitts 4-10 1-1 11, Lutz 1-9 1-4 4, Merthie 3-6 0-0 6, Pena 1-2 2-3 5, Johnson 4-7 6-7 15, Spann 3-6 0-0 8, Williams 1-1 0-0 3. Totals 27-58 14-26 76.


Butler 7-13 3-4 17, Ebanks 6-8 0-1 12, Smith 1-3 2-2 4, Ruoff 4-9 5-6 15, Bryant 4-8 11-15 22, Thoroughman 1-1 1-2 3, Jones 2-3 2-4 6, Sowards 0-1 4-6 4, Thomas 0-0 0-0 0, Flowers 1-3 2-2 4, Proby 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 26-49 30-42 87.

Halftime—West Virginia 34-23. 3-Point Goals—Marshall 8-19 (Spann 2-3, Pitts 2-3, Williams 1-1, Pena 1-2, Johnson 1-3, Lutz 1-5, Merthie 0-2), West Virginia 5-12 (Bryant 3-3, Ruoff 2-5, Sowards 0-1, Butler 0-3). Fouled Out—Ebanks, Pena, Pitts, Smith, Wilkerson. Rebounds—Marshall 30 (Humphrey 8), West Virginia 35 (Jones 8). Assists—Marshall 16 (Johnson 5), West Virginia 18 (Ruoff 5). Total Fouls—Marshall 29, West Virginia 25. A—12,580.