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Herd falls to WKU

Published: Jan. 17, 2021 at 5:46 PM EST
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HUNTINGTON, W.Va. -- The Marshall University men’s basketball team (7-4, 1-3 C-USA) fell to its conference rival, the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers (11-4, 4-2 C-USA), at home Sunday by a final score of 69-67.

“We had a little breakdown defensively when were up,” Marshall head coach Dan D’Antoni said after the loss. “I like to be able to play offensively and defensively equally.”

Junior guard Taevion Kinsey recorded his first double-double of the season with 16 points and 12 rebounds. Redshirt sophomore guard Andrew Taylor led the Herd with 17 points on a 7-for-9 shooting day.

Senior guard Jarrod West had a team-best five assists as redshirt senior forward Jannson Williams had three blocks.

The Hilltoppers started the game on a 6-0. Taylor answered for Marshall with a jumper followed by a West three-pointer to bring the Herd within one, 6-5.

Marshall’s defense attested to the Hilltoppers offense as the team struggled to make shots. Williams hit a jumper and a three-pointer back-to-back, giving the Herd its first lead of the game, 10-9. WKU would answer on a 5-0 run.

Both teams struggled offensively, until Marshall went on another 8-0 run with freshman forward Obinna Anochili-Killen making a jumper, a dunk by senior forward Darius George, senior forward Mikel Beyers three-pointer and Taylor’s jumper to put the Herd on top 27-25.

The Herd finished up the first half with another 8-0 run as Kinsey’s last second toss-up half court shot to put the Herd on top, 35-27.

In the second half, WKU and Marshall picked up the pace as both teams battled at the basket with both teams alternating runs throughout the half.

WKU went on its biggest run of the game (8-0) against the Herd until freshman guard David Early drove in the paint for a layup, followed by another Kinsey layup putting the team up 50-49.

After a pair of Carson Williams layups, Marshall answered with baskets from George and Kinsey before going on a scoring drought. The Hilltoppers went on a 7-0 run before Taylor hit one from beyond the arc to bring the Herd within two, 60-58, with 4:43 left in the game.

Early was fouled with 14 seconds left on the clock and made both free throws to put the Herd within one, 67-66. However, a pair of Jordan Rawls free-throws put WKU back up by three with seven seconds left.

Taylor made a free-throw and missed the second, but the ball went off WKU with three seconds left and the Herd trailing by two. A Beyers three at the buzzer missed the mark as Marshall fell to the Hilltoppers.

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