HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – A dominating performance on the glass powered the Marshall men’s basketball team to a 94-67 win over Bluefield College in the team’s only exhibition game Thursday at the Cam Henderson Center.
The Thundering Herd outrebounded the Rams 69-25, led by juniors Elijah Pittman and Yous Mbao who each finished with 13.
“It’s good to get it out of the way,” said head coach Tom Herrion of the first game. “We obviously weren’t very good. And yet you still win comfortably so it gives us a great opportunity to teach from this starting tomorrow.”
Pittman, a transfer from Lamar State College Port-Arthur, added a game-high 23 points by shooting 9-of-18 from the field including 1-of-3 from three-point range. Fellow junior college transfer D.D.
Scarver (Trinity Valley) finished with 18 points and seven rebounds.
Junior Dennis Tinnon shot 8-of-13 from the field and finished with 18 points and nine rebounds in 24 minutes of play. Of the nine players that suited up for Marshall, all played and scored. The minutes were divided fairly evenly as seven played at least 20 minutes.
A three-pointer by the Rams’ leading scorer Kearsten Marion opened the game to a 3-0 Bluefield lead. The Rams held a 13-10 lead with 13:58 to play in the half, but it was all Marshall from there as the Herd went on a 22-5 run over the next eight minutes to take a 32-18 lead.
“They hit those threes early; they had thirteen points, and banked one in,” Herrion said. “Their first 13 points – four of them were threes, then we did a good job of guarding the three.”
A Pittman layup, two of the team’s 64 points in the paint, gave Marshall a 43-26 lead at halftime.
The Herd continued to dominate in the second half, building its lead to 30 points, 94-64 with just over a minute remaining.
Marion scored 18 points for Bluefield College, an NAIA school from Virginia. The Herd held Byron Carpenter, last season’s Appalachian Athletic Conference Player of the Year, to 2-of-14 shooting for 12 points and three rebounds.
Marshall shot 48.8 percent from the field while holding the Rams to 33.3 percent. Both teams struggled to find rhythm beyond the three-point arc as Marshall shot 26.7 percent (4-for-15) and Bluefield shot 23.1 percent (6-for-26).
“We have to maximize our educational learning capacity tomorrow,” Herrion said of Friday’s practice. “It might not be as much physical as it is film and mental and correct a lot of things because there’s a lot of things that have to be corrected on both ends of the floor.”
The next time the Herd takes the court it will be on Nov. 9 to open the regular season against Longwood at 7:30 p.m. in the Cam Henderson Center.