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Marshall deals FIU first home loss of season

MIAMI, Fla. – Marshall men’s basketball (10-12, 4-5) goes on the road and hands the FIU Panthers (14-8, 5-4) its first home loss of the season, 84-74, on Thursday night in Miami.
“We played a good ballgame,” Marshall head coach Dan D’Antoni said after the win. “Iran (Bennett) really dominated the inside. I thought Taevion (Kinsey), Jarrod (West), and Andy (Taylor) all did their jobs. We still have to shoot our threes. We’re not shooting them like we’re capable of.
Marshall had five reach double-figure scoring as each member of the starting lineup had at least 12 points in the victory. Redshirt sophomore Iran Bennett and sophomore Taevion Kinsey each poured 18 points into the basket.
Kinsey brought down a team-high nine rebounds, while Bennett made six of his attempts from the field, had six rebounds and three takeaways.
Redshirt freshman Andrew Taylor had 14 points, five assists and a game-high four steals. The guard made five of his nine attempts from the field, including two shots from beyond-the-arc.
Bringing up the end of the Marshall student-athletes with 10 or more points were junior Jarrod West and freshman Marko Sarenac who had 13 and 12, respectively, with West dishing out a game-high nine assists.
The Herd jumped out to the early lead and maintained it through the first media timeout as it led 11-4 with 15:57 on the clock after a layup by Bennett.
Marshall kept the lead until FIU went on a 19-4 run across the span of 5:18 with the Panthers taking a 28-23 lead with 7:49 left in the first half. The two teams tangoed the rest of half for the lead, but the Herd trailed 39-38 at the break.
MU battled early in the second half to regain the lead, ultimately securing its lead with a 7-0 run after a Sarenac layup put the Herd up 56-50 with just under 14 minutes remaining in the second half as FIU called timeout.
From that point forward the Marshall put the clamps down on the Panthers leading by as many as 14 points, 80-66, with 2:57 left in the game with the eventual 10-point margin of victory.
Tonight was the Herd’s first win this season when being tied or trailing at halftime.
Sarenac has now scored 10 or more points in three consecutive games.
Marshall has won seven straight games against FIU.
West now has nine games of at least five assists this season, while Kinsey has had nine games of at least five rebounds.
Tonight was the second time this season MU has had five or more student athletes with 10 or more points with the last time being at Morehead State on Dec. 16.
Marshall looks to close out the Florida roadtrip 2-0 as it heads to Boca Raton to take on FAU Saturday afternoon.