GAME NOTES: The Marshall Thundering Herd will hit the road for the first time this season as they challenge the Morehead State Eagles in a non-conference bout at Johnson Arena.
Marshall is 2-0 on the early season after coasting past its first two opponents. The team downed South Carolina State, 85-69, in its season opener before completing a 119-77 rout of Rio Grande on Tuesday. Coach Tom Herrion's squad underachieved in 2012-13 en route to a 13-19 overall finish. The Thundering Herd have been tremendous on both ends through their first two games as they have converted 52.2 percent of their field-goal attempts and limited their opponents to just 39 percent shooting from the floor.
Coach Sean Woods guided the Eagles to victories over Mid-Continent (107-60) and East Tennessee State (71-63) for a 2-0 start, but they were unable to maintain their momentum for their trip to Cincinnati and suffered a 79-56 setback at Xavier. Morehead State did a good job battling the Musketeers on the boards as both sides finished with 34 rebounds, but Xavier held a dominant, 50-16, edge in points in the paint to hand the Ohio Valley Conference school its first loss.
This will be the 95th meeting in history between the Thundering Herd and Morehead State. Marshall holds a 50-44 in the all-time series after its narrow, 70-67, victory over the Eagles in Huntington last season. The victory was the fourth in a row for Marshall over Morehead State.
Marshall lost one of its key players over the offseason as DeAndre Kane decided to transfer to Iowa State for his final year. Due to Kane's departure, junior forward Elijah Pittman came into this season as the team's undisputed leader and he has thrived to net 30 points per game. Freshman guard Kareem Canty was expected to start for the Herd in 2012-13, but could not participate due to eligibility issues. The 6-foot-1 Harlem, a New York native, has been excellent while running the show to average 16.5 points and eight assists per outing. Freshman forward Ryan Taylor has also been stellar through his first two games, posting 16 points and 9.5 boards per outing.
Angelo Warner has been the go-to-guy for Morehead State in the early season. The 6-2 junior guard is pacing the squad in the scoring column at 15 ppg after attempting 19 of his 34 field goal tries from beyond the arc. Senior guard Bakari Turner, who was the 2012-13 OVC Sixth Man of the Year, has scored a total of 30 points in three games, despite shooting just 30 percent from the floor with a 3-of-16 clip from behind the 3-point line. The Eagles have an excellent rebounder in Chad Posthumus, who has averaged 9.3 rpg with five boards per outing on the offensive end alone. Former Utah Ute guard Kareem Storey will match up with Canty.
The Thundering Herd's hot start has not indicative of much as they beat a pair of clearly inferior teams. They will face a much greater test in this one, as the Eagles have proven talent to go along with size and athleticism.
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