Hot-shooting Herd takes down Texas State
Published 11:59 pm Thursday, January 19, 2023
By CODY LINN
SAN MARCOS, Texas – The Marshall University men’s basketball team (16-4, 5-2 Sun Belt) lit it up from the field to earn its first Sun Belt Conference road win over the Texas State Bobcats (10-10, 3-4 Sun Belt), 81-73, on Thursday night. MU is off to its best 20-game start since the 1986-87 season when it also went 16-4.
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The Herd made 56 percent of its shots (28-for-50) in the contest, including 68 percent in the second half (17-for-25).
“They’re the two-time (regular-season) defending champs in this conference, and they played like it tonight,” Marshall men’s basketball head coach Dan D’Antoni said about Texas State’s play tonight. “They moved the ball really well. They brought their ‘A’ game. I though we closed it extremely well.”
Kamdyn Curfman was hot of the gates making his first seven attempts from three-point range. The junior finished the contest with a season-high 21 points in the victory to lead all players.
“Even on the one I banked in, I was just throwing it up,” Curfman said about his hot start. “Once you make five in a row, the rim looks ginormous, like you’re throwing it into the ocean.”
Down one with just over 14 minutes to go, MU steadied the ship with an 8-2 run to take a 54-49 lead with 12:30 left on the clock. Taevion Kinsey, who finished the game with 19 points, tallied two of his 17 second-half points during the streak.
“In the second half, they trusted me, and it was like wow this team really believes in me,” Kinsey commented on scoring only two points in the first half and his team trusting him in the second.
Marshall was clutch down the stretch at the charity stripe as Andrew Taylor and Jacob Conner each went 2-for-2 in the final 23 seconds to ice the game. Marshall shot a season-best 87.5 percent (14-for-16) from the free-throw line.
Taylor joined Curfman with 20 or more points with an even 20. Kinsey recorded a game-high six assists and finished in a tie for the team-high in rebounds at seven with Obinna Anochili-Killen.
The last Herd team to get off to a better start through the first 20 games was the 1971-72 squad that went 18-2.
Marshall’s 81 points are the most Texas State has given up to a conference opponent this season.
Kinsey fell one point shy of his fifth straight game of 20 or more points and five or more assists. The Columbus, Ohio, native has tallied at least 18 points in his last five games.
Curfman’s seven makes from behind the arc are a career-high. The junior has made five or more shots from long distance in the last three games. It’s the first time a Herd men’s basketball student-athlete has nailed 7 or more triples since Jon Elmore on January 31, 2019, against UTEP.
Taylor notched his sixth contest of 20 or more points this season and first in a conference game this season.
Tonight was the fifth time during the 2022-23 campaign that MU has shot 50 percent or better from the field.
The Herd closes its road trip in Jonesboro, Arkansas, against Arkansas State on Saturday at 3 p.m. EST/2 p.m. CST.