Photo courtesy of Marshall athletics
Propelled by Taevion Kinsey scoring its final eight points, Marshall men’s basketball team held off North Texas on Saturday afternoon at the Cam Henderson Center, 73-72.
The Thundering Herd improved to 12-6 overall and 6-5 in Conference USA play. North Texas fell to 13-7 overall and 9-3 in C-USA play.
“That was a hard-fought win,” Marshall junior guard Taevion Kinsey said. “We had some players that weren’t in the game. Jarrod (West) led us from the bench today and Jannson (Williams) gave us his best effort. Overall, we came out with way better energy. Andrew (Taylor) came out hot today. If you can win the first five minutes, you can win the game. They are a good team. It was a big win. We just have to work on our switches. There’s no excuse. We’re just glad to pull out that victory.”
A back-and-forth first half saw the Herd take a 35-33 lead into the break.
In the second half, the two squads battled for the lead, but Taylor went on a 5-0 streak for Marshall to give it up 42-39 with 18:17 on the clock. Marshall would not trail the rest of the way.
The Herd would use a big run to take their largest lead of 14, 65-51 with 9:27 left in the game.
Back Come the Mean Green
The Mean Green didn’t give up though as the got the game to within two, 65-63, with 5:50 left.
With 40 seconds left in the game, North Texas’s Javion Hamlet hit a three-pointer to put the deficit at one, 73-72.
The Herd had a final shot to put the nail in the coffin but were called for a shot clock violation with seven seconds left. Hamlet missed the game-winning jumper at the buzzer as Marshall escaped. The victory comes one day after a 77-65 loss for Marshall to the Mean Green.
Kinsey was not pleased with the shot clock violation but was happy the Herd were able to pull out the win in the end.
“We got to go harder and get that shot off,” Kinsey said. “That shot clock violation, we stayed poised. We had three fouls to give, and Andrew did a good job fouling with four seconds left. That shot clock violation was a tough one, but we got the victory in the end.”
Key Performers and Numbers
Taylor led the way for the Herd with 20 points while shooting a perfect 5-for-5 from beyond the arc, a career-high six steals, five assists and five boards. Kinsey finished with 18 points, seven rebounds and two steals. Freshman David Early scored nine points. Mikel Beyers and Jannson Williams each added eight points.
The Herd accumulated 24 points in the paint, 16 off turnovers, 11 points off the bench and eight second chance.
Hamlet led the way for the Mean Green with 28 points and shot an outstanding 6-for-7 from beyond the arc. Jesse Reese scored 15 and added a block and a steal. Thomas Bell poured in 13 points, seven rebounds, three steals and a block in the loss.
The Mean Green added 20 points in the paint, 11 off turnovers, seven from the bench, four second chance and two from the fast break.
Marshall will stay home for the final series of the regular season against Charlotte. Contests in Huntington begin Friday at 7 p.m. ET and Saturday at 2 p.m. ET.