Men’s basketball fall in battle with College of Charleston

Losing its third straight contest, the Marshall University men’s basketball team was defeated 76-66 by the College of Charleston at the Cam Henderson Center on Nov. 19.

“Defensively, we’re still playing good enough to win,” Head Coach Dan D’Antoni said. “We’ve just got to find rhythm offensively.”

With good play from redshirt senior forward Jannson Williams on both the offensive and defensive ends to begin the game, Marshall started strong with a seven-point lead eight minutes into the contest.

Near the end of the first half, Marshall let the lead slip away, and the teams entered halftime tied at 35.

For the first five minutes of the second half, the game went back and forth between the two teams with a total of six lead changes.

However, at the 13:48 minute mark, the Cougars took the lead and never looked back. Although the Herd kept fighting, they could not get any closer than three points.

“We (were not) ready to play today,” sophomore guard Taevion Kinsey said. “As captains, we’ve got to keep guys built up instead of tearing guys down.”

Sparking the College of Charleston throughout the game, senior guard Grant Riller scored 22 points, leading all scorers. He was on fire from the field, shooting 75%.

In the first half, Riller single-handedly took his team on a 9-0 to take the lead away from Marshall. Over a 1:07 stretch, he had three steals, two dunks and a three-pointer.

Overall, Charleston finished with five players in double figures, including Riller. Senior forward Sam Miller scored 13 points off the bench, while junior guard Brevin Galloway and senior forward Jaylen McManus had 12 points each. Sophomore guard Zep Jasper added 10.

On the other side, Marshall finished with four players in double figures: Kinsey, Williams and juniors Jarrod West and Mikel Beyers.

Kinsey led the way with 13, and West followed behind him with 12. Beyers and Williams each scored 11, while eight of Beyers’ 11 were from the foul line. In fact, Beyers was perfect at the line.

Although Beyers was great at the line, the overall team shot only 54% from the free-throw line on 28 attempts.

“It was a bad showing. 50% from the free-throw line is unacceptable for this team,” Williams said.

Struggling from the field, Marshall shot just 38% overall and 26% from three-point range.

“We’ve got to shoot better,” D’Antoni said. “Our best shooters, which are Jannson and Mikel, (were) 2-9. That’s not good enough.”

Furthermore, Marshall gave the ball up 19 times to the College of Charleston Cougars, losing the turnover margin by six. The Herd also had only eight assists.

Positively, Marshall had 15 offensive rebounds and 22 second chance points, compared to the Charleston’s eight offensive board and two second chance points.

D’Antoni said he hopes to build off those positives as they move forward with the season.

Next up, Marshall will host Howard University at 8 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 21 at the Cam Henderson Center directly following the Marshall women’s basketball game against Morgan State.

Grant Goodrich can be contacted at [email protected].