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Herd opens season with win over Red Wolves

Cody Linn
Marshall Athletics

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – The Marshall Thundering Herd men’s basketball team (1-0) opened the 2020-21 season with a 70-56 win over the Arkansas Red Wolves (0-1) at the Cam Henderson Center on Friday afternoon.
“I thought defensively, we played well,” Marshall head coach Dan D’Antoni said after the win.
“I thought we handled it pretty well. Obviously I have to find the mechanic for the offense. We were hesitating and we weren’t seeing the passes. We’re either not making quick enough decisions or tunnel vision. We run an offense with a lot of moving parts. That’ll come. I was pleased with our defense. I thought that was played really well.”
Junior guard Taevion Kinsey scored a game-high 17 points on a 7-for-11 night from the field. The Columbus, Ohio, native also led the Herd in rebounds with seven boards.
Senior forward Darius George followed up Kinsey with 15 points, going a perfect 6-for-6 from the floor and 3-of-3 from the free-throw line.
Senior Jarrod West had a game-high five steals, one short of his career-high, while red-shirt senior Jannson Williams and freshman forward Obinna Anochili-Killen each had three blocks on the defensive end. West also led the Herd with eight assists.
ASU took an early 2-0 lead 48 seconds into game.
However, MU went on a 7-0 run to take a 7-2 lead nearly four minutes later and holding Arkansas State scoreless across the next 5:40.
The Red Wolves answered with an 8-2 run of their own to take a 10-9 lead eight minutes into the opening stanza, but that would be the last lead it would see in the contest.
The Herd proceeded to score 14 of the next 16 points in the next five minutes of play to lead by 11 points, 23-12.
In the final three minutes of the first half, the two opposing teams traded baskets as Marshall led 29-22 at the break.
MU scored the first point of the second half on a Kinsey free-throw to extend its lead to eight, but Arkansas State wasn’t going down with a fight as it went on a 6-0 run, with four points Marquis Eaton, to pull within two, just over 2:30 into the half.
Although ASU kept it tight across next seven minutes, George and Kinsey helped lead the Herd on a 20-5 run, with the pair combining for 17 of the 20 points, from the 9:54 mark to 5:13 to give the Green and White its largest lead of the contest 18 points, 62-44, as MU cruised the rest of the way to eventually win by a 14-point margin.
NOTES
Kinsey has scored 10 or more points in 13 consecutive contests going back to last season.
West’s five steals fell one short of his career-high set on Dec. 11, 2019, against Bluefield State. He now sits at 206 takeaways for his career, two shy of breaking Skip Henderson’s men’s basketball program record of 207.
George scored in double-figures for the first time since he had 11 points in a win at Middle Tennessee State on Jan. 9, 2020.
Freshman Obinna Anochili-Killen scored eight points, grabbed three rebounds and blocked three shots in his Herd debut.
Marshall outrebounded Arkansas State 39-38 in the contest.
West, senior Mikel Beyers and red-shirt sophomore Andrew Taylor each had nine points in the win.
MU turned the ball over just 14 times to ASU’s 18 giveaways.
UP NEXT
Marshall heads to Dayton, Ohio, to take on Wright State on Dec. 3 at 7 p.m. The game will be on ESPN3/ESPN+.
Marshall 70, Arkansas State 56
ARKANSAS STATE (0-1)
Caleb Fields 5-11 2-7 12, Christian Willis 1-5 0-0 2, Keyon Wesley 4-7 1-2 9, Marquis Eaton 4-10 5-8 13, Antwon Jackson 0-5 1-2 1, Markise Davis 3-8 0-2 8, Avery Felts 2-4 2-2 7, Tim Holland Jr. 2-3 0-0 8, Caleb London 0-2 0-0 0. Totals: 21-55 11-23 56. 3-pt goals: 3-12 (Fields 0-2, Willis 0-1, Eaton 0-2, Davis 2-5, Felts 1-2). Rebounds: 8-O, 30-D = 38 (Holland 8, Eaton 8, Wesley 6, Fields 6). Team rebounds: 2. 8 (Fields 5). Steals: 9 (Fields 3, Wesley 2). Turnovers: 18. Blocks: 4 (Holland 2). Fouls: 13. Fouled out: None.
MARSHALL (1-0)
Andrew Taylor 4-11 0-0 9, Jannson Williams 1-8 0-0 3, Jarrod West 4-11 0-0 9, Taevion Kinsey 7-11 3-4 17, Obinna Anochili-Killen 3-9 1-2 8, Luke Thomas 0-0 0-0 0, Marko Sarenac 0-1 0-0 0, Darius George 6-6 0-0 3-3 15, David Early 0-2 0-0 0, Mikel Beyers 4-7 0-0 9, Goran Miladinovic 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 29-66 7-9 70. 3-pt. goals: 5-25 (Taylor 1-5, Williams 1-5, West 1-5, Kinsey 0-1, Anochili-Killen 1-4, Sarenac 0-1, Early 0-1, Beyers 1-3). Rebounds: 7-O, D-32 = 39 (Kinsey 7, George 5, Beyers 5). Team rebounds: 5. Assists: 16 (West 8). Steals: 11 (West 5). Blocks: 10 (Williams 3, Anochili-Kilen 3). Turnovers: 14. Fouls: 17. Fouled out: None.
Arkansas State 22 34 = 56
Marshall 29 41 = 70