Herd pulls away from UNC Asheville

Published: Dec. 22, 2020 at 10:18 PM EST
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HUNTINGTON, W.Va — The Marshall University men’s basketball team (6-1) extended its winning streak to two with an 88-67 victory over UNC Asheville (3-4) on Tuesday evening at the Cam Henderson Center.

“They (Asheville) were and they’ve played some tough games,” Marshall head coach Dan D’Antoni said after the win. “They were picked second in their conference. We’ve had a real good test for the preseason. Now we have to go out and get ready for the meat of the program, which is conference. Every now and then, you have one that you just win. This team pressed. We had to get up to their level and they’re well coached. They play hard for him. Our kids stepped up and made shots. David Early came in and made two threes and I’ve been waiting for that. As a group, all of them handling is tremendous. I was happy for them to get a win to go into Christmas time and the holidays.”

Taevion Kinsey led all Thundering Herd players with 26 points, going 11-for-17 in total and 2-for-3 at the three-point line. The junior guard also had six assists and five rebounds on his stat line.

Mikel Beyers finished the contest with 20 points, shooting 7-for-13 from the field and 4-for-8 on three-point attempts.

Jarrod West nearly had a double-double with 12 points and nine assists in the victory. The Clarksburg, W.Va., native also had three steals.

Obinna Anochili-Killen ended a quartet of Marshall student-athletes with 10 points and seven rebounds.

In the first half, the Bulldogs got the first basket, but the Herd answered back with a 6-0 run with back-to-back layups from Andrew Taylor and Anochili-Killen. Kinsey would complete it with a quick jumper in the paint, putting the Herd on top early, 6-2.

Both teams struggled offensively, until UNC Asheville’s Tajion Jones started what would become a three-point showdown with 11:04 left in the first half. Kinsey answered back with a three-pointer, and Jones hit a second shot from beyond the arc. Kinsey completed his second three-pointer of the game, followed by Jones’ third consecutive basket from beyond the arc. Then, senior forward Mikel Beyers ended the battle with another three-pointer, putting the Herd down by one, 17-16.

West scored his first two points for the Herd with 8:17 left, which started Marshall finding its way to the basket with a Beyers three-pointer, a jumper from Kinsey and another Beyers layup.

The Herd closed out the first half on a 7-0 run, with five of those points coming from a West, going into halftime with a 35-29 advantage over the Bulldogs.

The energy soared in the second half as Marshall dominated from the three-point line as eight three-pointers were made by a combination of Kinsey, West, Williams, Beyers and freshman guard David Early. MU lead by as many as 30 points in the second half.

The Bulldogs ended the game on a 6-0 run, but fell short as the Herd took victory, 88-67.

Marshall finished the game with 32-of-62 (52 percent) shots made, while UNC Asheville went 27-for-61 (44 percent) from the field.

The Herd outrebounded the Bulldogs, 37-33, and had more blocks, 9-1. Six of Marshall’s nine blocked shots came from Williams and Beyers, who had three-a-piece.

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