Herd men’s basketball to open C-USA Bonus Play at Louisiana Tech


Richard Crank

Middle Tennessee guard Antonio Green (55) watches as Marshall guard Jarrod West attempts a contested layup during the Thundering Herd’s win over the Blue Raiders at the Cam Henderson Center.

 Following a 12-day hiatus from basketball games, the Marshall men’s basketball team is set to head to Louisiana Tech and North Texas once again to start out its last two away game series of conference bonus play. 

Sophomore guard Jarrod West said that the days off from games has helped the Herd work hard during practice. West said that the rest has helped the team a lot as well as the pace of play and defense has been very locked in.

Marshall (14-13, 7-7 C-USA) is striving towards finishing in the top of pod two and competing against Louisiana Tech, North Texas, Florida Atlantic, and Florida International.

Marshall head coach Dan D’Antoni said that the Herd remains hopeful on its journey and has worked hard on those days off getting plenty of rest and focusing on the game.

“Well, the biggest thing is that we’re in pod play,” D’Antoni said. “Our whole thing is ‘just get better.’ The games are important but not dire. Two weeks from now they will be dire.”

The Herd is set to take on the Bulldogs of Louisiana Tech (18-10, 8-7 C-USA) first during its road trip. The Bulldogs are 15-0 at home and Marshall is looking to give them its first home loss. 

“We know they’re gonna be two tough games,” West said. “We know how important the games are.”

During the regular conference season, LA Tech defeated Marshall in Ruston, Louisiana in overtime, 89-80. 

Senior guard C.J. Burks led the Herd with 29 points, 12 rebounds, and four assists in the previous game between the teams. Freshman guard Taevion Kinsey followed behind with 14 points and three rebounds. Sophomore forward Jannson Williams contributed 11 points, eight rebounds and one assist. Senior guard Jon Elmore only had eight points, three rebounds, and eight assists. Senior guard Rondale Watson had nine points, and sophomore guard Jarrod West had five points.

“Obviously I think we should’ve won the game at LA Tech,” West said. “That hurts. But obviously we know that we can beat them.”

For the Bulldogs, four players scored in double digits during the matchup against the Herd. Junior guard DaQuan Bracey led with 25 points, six rebounds, and six assists. Sophomore forward Anthony Duruji contributed 18 points, six rebounds, and one assist. Redshirt sophomore guard JaColby Pemberton had 18 points, 11 rebounds, and one assist. Junior guard Ra’Shawn Langston followed with 12 points, three rebounds, and two assists. 

“We know that they’re a beatable team,” West said. “Going to North Texas on Sunday is also going to be a tough game. They were at the top of the conference for a while. At this point, every game is important. It’s going to be a tough week.”

Tipoff is set for the first of two games in the Thomas Assembly Center in Ruston, Louisiana at 7:30 p.m. eastern time. Following the La. Tech matchup, the Herd will travel to Denton, Texas to take on the North Texas Mean Green Sunday. Tipoff is set for 4 p.m. at the Coliseum, also known as “The Super Pit.” The Herd will return back home to Huntington for two final home games against FAU and FIU on March 6 and March 9.

“These next four games, we have to make sure we’re pushing up our style and we’re settled who we’re gonna go with, rotation we’re gonna go with through the tournament,” D’Antoni said. “There are ten teams that can win this thing.”

Taylor Huddleston can be contacted at [email protected].