Thundering Herd slips past North Texas, 73-72
HUNTINGTON, W.Va.—The Marshall University men’s basketball team defeated the University of North Texas Mean Green on Saturday afternoon with a final score of 73-72 at the Cam Henderson Center.
The Herd improved to 13-6, 7-5 C-USA, while the Mean Green dropped to 13-7, 9-3 C-USA.
“You looked at the stats sheet (from yesterday), and the (Zachary) Simmons kid was 7-for-10, and they were getting threes,” Marshall head coach Dan D’Antoni said.
“Goran, and others have earned their starts. Andrew (Taylor) really played well. Jarrod (West) was out. Mikel (Beyers) seems to be coming along. It’s really giving us number.
“I decided to stop the post. Mikel is an adventure on the floor. You put the ball in Andy’s hands, and let him go. Him and Taevion (Kinsey) work well together. David Early came in and contributed well as a freshman.”
Redshirt sophomore guard Andrew Taylor led the Herd with 20 points, five assists, and six steals. The Corbin, Ky., native shot 7-for-10 from the field and made all five of his three-point attempts.
Junior Taevion Kinsey followed behind with 18 points, a team-high seven rebounds, and two steals.
It was a constant battle going back and forth between both teams in the first half. North Texas maintained the lead for the majority of the first stanza and used a 7-0 run from 9:14 to 7:27 to take a 24-17.
However, the Herd scored 18 of the final 27 points in the half to take a two-point lead, 35-33, into the break.
In the second half, the two squads battled for the lead, but Taylor went on a 5-0 streak for Marshall to give it up 42-39 with 18:17 on the clock as Marshall would not trail the rest of the way.
Marshall then used an 8-0 run followed by a 15-4 run to have its largest lead of the contest at 14 points, 65-51, with just under 10 minutes remaining.
The Mean Green answered back with a 12-0 run to cut the Herd lead to 65-63 with five minutes left in the ballgame.
North Texas’ hit a three-point shot with 40 seconds remaining in the game, but the Herd defense held the Mean Green off, splitting the series. Taevion Kinsey’s last eight points helped secure the Herd’s win.
Down the stretch it was all North Texas’s Javion Hamlet and Kinsey. The two players traded points in the stretch of the game as Hamlet scored nine of his game-high 28 points and Kinsey scored the final eight for MU.
Hamlet nailed a three with 40 seconds to go, but the Marshall defense hung on for the victory.
Marshall moves to 12-2 when it holds its opponent to 79 or less points and 3-3 when it scores 79 or less points.
Saturday marked the Herd’s second win when it has two players with 10 or more points.
After getting outrebounded on Friday by 14, MU tied North Texas with 31 rebounds each on Saturday.
This was Jarrod West’s first game he did not play in during his time at Marshall. His streak of consecutive games played ended at 123.
Andrew Taylor’s five three-point baskets are a new season high and tie his career high. He also tied his season high in points with 20, his fourth 20-point game of his career. He now has a new season and career high in steals with six in a game.
David Early collected his first career block and made his first career start in a career-high 32 minutes.
Goran Miladinovic logged a season and career high in minutes with 22.
Mikel Beyers recorded a season and career high in steals with three.
Marshall will close out its 2020-21 season against the Charlotte 49ers on Friday, Mar. 5 at 7 p.m. and Saturday, Mar. 6 at 2 p.m. at the Cam Henderson Center.