EL PASO, Texas – The Thundering Herd men’s basketball team (13-14, 7-7 C-USA) picked up a road win to close out its Texas swing by a final score of 71-61 over UTEP at the Don Haskins Center on Saturday afternoon.
“I thought Jannson Williams and Mikel Beyers played well,” Marshall head coach Dan D’Antoni said after the win. “If they continue to do that we have a great chance to do well at the tournament. They have to stay focused and we’ll see what happens.”
With 18 points, junior Mikel Beyers led the Herd in scoring. The forward went 6-for-9 from the field, 4-for-6 from behind-the-arc, with five boards in the win.
Redshirt junior Jannson Williams followed Beyers with 14 points, making four three-pointers. Williams tied junior Jarrod West for the team-high in rebounds with six, while rejecting a pair of shots.
Taevion Kinsey closed out a trio of Marshall student-athletes in double-figure scoring with 11 points. The sophomore guard added four boards and four helpers to his stat line. West had a game-high eight assists in the win.
Redshirt junior Jannson Williams hit a three for the first make of the game to give MU the early lead. The Miners then went on an 11-0 run to take an 11-3 lead at the 14:10 mark.
The Thundering Herd were quick to mount a comeback as it answered immediately with a 10-0 run to take a 13-11 lead with just under 10 minutes left in the opening half of play and never trailed the rest of the half.
Marshall closed out the half with a 36-26 lead, closing out the first period with its final five made shots being from three-point range. It went 9-for-18 on long balls in the first half.
Redshirt sophomore Iran Bennett slammed home the first basket of the half on an assist from Beyers. Despite UTEP then going on a 6-0 run, Marshall scored seven of the next eight points to take a 12-point lead, 45-33, just under four minutes into the final period.
MU put a stranglehold on the Miners the rest of way leading by as many as 13 and never seeing its lead drop below eight points.
Beyers now has six games of 10 or more points this season.
Kinsey has scored in double-figures in 25 of Marshall’s 27 contests.
Williams has now reached at least 10 points in five games this season.
Marshall outscored UTEP’s bench 31-3 and scored more points off turnovers, 15-7.
The Thundering Herd is in pod two finishing pre-Bonus Play seventh in standings after being picked 11th in the C-USA Coaches’ Preseason Poll.
Pod two will consist of Marshall, UAB, Florida Atlantic, Old Dominion, and UTSA. Marshall will travel to UAB and UTSA, while hosting FAU and ODU.
Marshall awaits its next opponent and date as the Bonus Play schedule will be released on Sunday (Feb. 15).