Thundering Herd rolls past Middle Tennessee, 107-79

Published 11:57 pm Friday, February 12, 2021

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — The Marshall University men’s basketball team (11-5, 5-4 C-USA) erased an early deficit to earn a 107-79 win over the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders (5-12, 3-8 C-USA) Friday night at the Cam Henderson Center.
“Competition is funny, sometimes things just are what they are,” Marshall head coach Dan D’Antoni said after the win. “One good thing about this group is that they all stay together and pull through.” ­
Junior guard Taevion Kinsey led all scorers with 25 points, followed by redshirt sophomore Andy Taylor’s 16 points. Senior Jarrod West added 15 points, as did freshman David Early who added a career-high 15, all of which came beyond the arc. Early shot 5-of-7 from three-point range.
Taylor and West each had a game-high eight assists.
Redshirt senior Jannson Williams broke a tie with Hassan Whiteside for Marshall’s program record for blocks to stand alone atop the school leaderboard. He had two blocks Friday to push the school record to 184.
Williams also brought down a game-high seven rebounds.
The Blue Raiders began the contest on a 14-0 run, and the Herd would not score until the 14:58 mark when Taylor connected on a jumper.
The deficit reached as high as 15, but a 13-0 run for the Herd capped by a Mikel Beyers three tied the game at 28. With the game tied at 37 with 2:47 to go in the first half, Marshall ended the first stanza on an 8-0 run to take the lead which it would never relinquish.
The Herd kept Blue Raiders at bay for the majority of second half as two teams traded runs for the first 14 minutes of the second half.
Down the stretch, MU went on three runs of five or more points and closed the game on a 17-7 run to take the game by 28 points, 107-79. It was its largest lead of the game.
Marshall had its highest team point output in over two years, when it scored 106 on February 2, 2019 in an overtime 116-106 loss to UTSA. It was the team’s first time scoring 100+ in regulation since January 19, 2019 against FIU.
The Herd hit a season-high 15 three-pointers, the most the team has made since connecting 17 times from beyond the arc on March 14, 2019 against Southern Miss in the Conference USA Tournament.
Marshall has won five straight over Middle Tennessee. The Blue Raiders, who lead the series all-time 11-8, last defeated Marshall in the 2017 Conference USA Tournament Championship Game in Birmingham, Alabama.
The Herd’s 107 points in regulation are the most since Jan. 17, 2017 against Charlotte.
With his one steal on Friday, Jarrod West extended his school record steal mark to 244 and approaches UTEP’s Randy Culpepper (2008-11) place at second all-time in Conference USA history (251).
The Herd earned its first win at home in 2021 and improves to 5-2 inside the Cam Henderson Center this season.
Marshall’s 15-point deficit early in the content neared the Herd’s largest deficit of the season of 17 on January 2 at Louisiana Tech.
The Herd is 6-0 this season when four players score 10+ points.
Marshall looks to sweep the series over Middle Tennessee as the two sides meet again tomorrow at 4 p.m.
For all the latest information about Marshall men’s basketball, follow @HerdMBB on Twitter and Instagram.
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