Defense leads Herd past Louisiana Lafayette
Published 11:40 pm Tuesday, November 23, 2021
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – With a stellar defensive performance, the Marshall University men’s basketball team (4-1) overcome a five-point halftime deficit to down the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns (3-2), 93-79, on Tuesday night in the Cam Henderson Center.
“We’ve just got to get better, be a little bit more disciplined,” Marshall men’s basketball head coach Dan D’Antoni said about his team’s performance. “We are a freewheeling, risk-taking, get-the-crowd-on-their-feet type of team. It was a physical game. It was a good ball game.”
Sophomore Obinna Anochili-Killen collected his second double-double of the season with a career-highs of 19 points and 11 rebounds. The Lagos, Nigeria, native also rejected eight shots and made six of his seven free throw attempts.
Senior Taevion Kinsey tallied 21 points, for his fourth game of 20 or more this season, to go with six rebounds and four steals.
Seniors Darius George and Mikel Beyers also reached double-figure scoring with 15 and 13 points, respectively. Redshirt junior Andrew Taylor collected a career-high seven steals and added nine points.
Theo Akwuba recorded a double-double for Louisiana with 10 points and 10 rebounds.
The Herd came out of the gates hot, scoring the first five points of the contest on a three-point basket by Beyers and a layup by Kinsey.
Marshall eventually extended its lead to as many as eight in the first half, but the Ragin’ Cajuns made a late run in the final 1:14.
Louisiana scored 11 of the final 12 points in the half, including seven from Greg Williams, Jr., to go up 47-42 at the break.
MU came out of halftime and scored the first three points of the half with free throws by George and one by Kinsey.
However, a 5-0 run by Anochili-Killen and Kinsey helped the Herd regain the lead (55-53) at the 14:44 mark. It led for all but 13 seconds the rest of the way.
In the final eight minutes, the Green and White used four runs of 4-0 or better, including a 7-0 clip, to build a 17-point lead, 83-68, to put the contest out of reach.
Marshall’s 19 steals are tied for third-most in the program’s single-season records and are the most since also recording 19 against Salem on December 3, 2009.
Kinsey reached double-figure scoring for the 39th consecutive game and has scored 20 or more points in four of the first five games this season. The Columbus, Ohio, native now has 25 games of 20 or more points in his career.
Beyers reached double-figure scoring for the first time this season.
Anochili-Killen and Kinsey have each scored 10 or more points in all five games this season.
Anochili-Killen’s eight blocks are tied for 12th-most in a game in program history. He joins Ajdin Penava and Hassan Whiteside as the only players in program history with multiple games of eight or more blocks. Anochili-Killen’s 18 blocks in the last two games tie Whiteside for the most in back-to-back games in program history. Whiteside rejected 10 shots against UCF on Jan. 13, 2010 and followed with eight against Tulane on Jan. 16.
MU heads to Bloomington, Ind., for its first road game of the season against the Indiana Hoosiers on Saturday. Opening tip is slated for 7 p.m. on Big Ten Network.