Propelled by a 53.4 shooting percentage from the field, the Marshall University men’s basketball team defeated the Florida Atlantic Owls 94-82 Thursday night in the Cam Henderson Center as the team finished it home slate.
The Thundering Herd improved to 15-15 overall (9-8 Conference USA), while the Owls fell to 16-15 overall (8-10 C-USA).
With the Conference USA Tournament coming up next week in Frisco, Texas, the Herd has its focus on getting back to the big dance.
“It’s been mental focus all throughout the week,” guard Taevion Kinsey said. “Starting out, we came out of a loss. We didn’t play our best when we went there. We came out today with elite focus and everyone hitting shots and playing. We have to do better on rebounds. For the most part, we hit most of our free throws. It’s March. It’s a focus from day one.”
Marshall Head Coach Dan D’Antoni said people should enjoy the moment because the Herd is working hard.
“That was a good game,” D’Antoni said. “They (FAU) played hard and well. Their coach is good, too. It will be a battle when we go to Frisco. You get to enjoy it whether we win or lose. You should enjoy it and the moment because the players are giving their best. Tonight, we won, and that’s even better.” The Herd had five players in double figures, with Kinsey leading the way with 20 points (7-for-13 from the field and 5-for-5 from the free throw line), six assists, five rebounds and one block. Jannson Williams followed with 18 points (4-for-9 from the field and a perfect 6-for-6 at the free throw line), six rebounds, five blocks and one assist. Andrew Taylor had a double-double with 16 points (6-for-9) and 10 rebounds, while also adding four assists. Mikel Beyers came off the bench to score 12 points (3-for-7 from the field and 5-for-6 from the free throw line), with two rebounds and two assists. Jarrod West rounded out the double figures scorers with 10 points (4-for-10), five assists, two rebounds and two steals.
The Herd accumulated 36 in the paint, 26 points off the bench, 12 off turnovers, 12 second chance and four from the fast break. It also shot 53.4% (31-for-58) from the field, 54.5% (12-for-22) from beyond the arc and 74.1% (20-for-27) from the charity stripe.
Only three Owls reached double digits in scoring, led by Michael Forrest with 19 points (7-for-14), six rebounds, two steals and one assist. D.J. Robertson followed with 14 points (4-for-7) and three assists. Finally, Richardson Maitre rounded out the double-figure scorers with 10 points (4-for-10 from the field and 3-for-4 from the free throw line), four rebounds and one assist.
The Owls added 34 points in the paint, 30 from the bench, 21 second chance, 11 off turnovers and no fast breaks. They also shot 41.1% (30-for-73) from the field, 29.6% (8-for-27) from beyond the arc and 63.6% (14-for-22) from the free throw line.
Up next for the Herd, the team travels to San Antonio, Texas to take on the UTSA Roadrunners Thursday with tipoff set for 4 p.m. EST/3 p.m. CST.
Spencer DuPuis can be contacted at [email protected]