Surprisingly, EA Sports played the Herd pretty much even in the first half. "These guys (EA Sports) have played everybody the past couple days, pretty tough," VanHoose said after the game. "We just have to learn to put two halves together." Marshall took a slim 36-30 lead into the lockerroom at the half, partly due to somewhat lackadaisical play on defense. "We kinda' went to sleep for ten minutes," Marshall coach Greg White summed up.
Catching the ire of White at halftime, the Marshall squad returned in the second half with priorities in order. J.R. VanHoose finished with his typical double-double, 18 points and 10 rebounds. Slay chipped in a game-high 26 on 10-of-21 shooting. All five of Marshall's starters finished in double figures, with Monty Wright (13), Richard Wilson (12 points, 8 assists), and Latece Williams (10) each seeing 25 minutes or more of playing time.
VanHoose and Slay reject the shot of EA Sports' Sean Jackson
"We were just going through the motions in the first half," Tamar Slay commented. "It was a good challenge for us tonight. We got a little test tonight, and I think that's what we needed before we open up next week."
Marshall shot only 48% from the field in the game, on 36-of-75 shooting overall. 5-of-22 shooting from three-point range showed some of the rust prevalent in all early-season exhibition games.
Still, Marshall coach Greg White saw the good and the bad. "I was pleased we only had 12 turnovers. I thought we did some good things. We shot 55 percent (in the second half). We didn't miss a layup in the second half," White said after the game. "We had about a nine minute stretch where I think we scored two or three points, where I thought we were just awful," White admitted.
Marshall, now finished with pre-season play, prepares for the NABC Coaches Classic next Thursday and Friday at Rupp Arena in Lexington, KY. The Herd faces Atlantic-10 foe George Washington in the first round, and will play either the Kentucky Wildcats or Western Kentucky Hilltoppers on Friday.