HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – In a game that had five members of the Marshall men’s basketball team score in double-figures, freshman Ryan Taylor (Indianapolis, Ind.) led the way with a double-double en route to a 94-60 win for the Thundering Herd over Concord at Cam Henderson Center, Monday night.
Coach Tom Herrion played 12 of the 14 on the Marshall roster, including eight newcomers as the team combined to shoot 54.1 percent from the field and outrebounded the Mountain Lions by 23, helping the Herd to a decisive victory at home.
Concord led 3-2 with 18:28 to play in the first half and once Marshall went ahead, the Herd never looked back despite Concord remaining close through the first 10 minutes of play.
With the score tied at 13 and 10:54 until halftime, Taylor scored six straight points to give Marshall a boost that it rode into the half with a 44-26 advantage. At the half, Taylor and redshirt freshman Kareem Canty (Harlem, N.Y.) were tied for the team lead in points with eight each.
In the second half, another fresh face proved his worth as junior transfer Shawn Smith (Sacramento, Calif.) scored seven straight points for the Herd, extending Marshall’s growing lead to 63-34 with 12:19 remaining in the second half.
Showing its strengths in the open court, the Herd racked up a number of highlight-caliber dunks with a fast paced offense that accumulated 18 fast-break points to two from Concord.
Just past mid-way through the second half, the Herd had a total of five players with double-digit points. Canty finished the night with 15 as did Smith, while senior returner Elijah Pittman (Covington, Ky.) added 14 of his own, as did sophomore transfer Chris Thomas (Denver, Colo.). Rounding out the quartet was Taylor who pulled down 10 boards to record a double-double in his first collegiate game.
Sophomore forward TyQuane Goard (Roxboro, N.C.) also reeled in 10 rebounds which went towards Marshall’s 51 total rebounds. Along with controlling the glass, Marshall recorded 48 points in the paint to Concord’s 26 and 17 second-chance points to just six from the Mountain Lions.
Coach Herrion will look for his squad to improve its effort from the charity stripe as Marshall went 22 of 38 from the free-throw line for 57.9 percent. Entering the 2013-14 with just 26 percent of last season’s point production returning, Monday showed that several of the nine newcomers know how to score the basketball against opposing defenses.
With the 17th meeting between the two sides complete, Marshall now leads the all-time series 15-2 with eight consecutive wins against Concord. Monday’s game was the first time the two teams faced off since Dec. 3, 1949.
Marshall opens regular-season play on Friday, Nov. 8 at 7 p.m. against South Carolina State, the second series meeting between the Herd and the Bulldogs of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference.