UK Guns Down Herd, 90-73

The University of Kentucky Wildcats used a late first-half rally to pull away from Marshall, en route to a 90-73 win in the consolation game of the NABC Coaches Classic at Rupp Arena in Lexington, KY tonight.

Marshall jumped out to an early 14-10 lead with 15:54 remaining in the first half, before UK mounted a 16-9 run midway through the first half. Marshall would tie the game up at 28 apiece with 6:25 left, and again, UK answered with one of their characteristic runs to slowly pull away. The 18-2 run that UK managed put the Wildcats firmly in the lead at the half, 46-30.

Marshall shot a dismal 28.1% from the field in the first half (9-of-32), while UK hit 17-of-45 shots (37.8%) to pull out the 16-point lead.

"I think we ran out of gas," Marshall coach Greg White said after the game. White went with his five starters (Slay, VanHoose, Williams, Wilson, and Dawn) for most of the game, with guard Ronny Dawn going all 40 minutes without a break. Marshall players William Butler and Monty Wright were forced to sit out of the game, due to NCAA-mandated suspensions.

Marshall's Richard Wilson drives the lane against UK's Adam Chiles.

It was more of the same in the second half, as Kentucky extended their 16-point lead to 20 on a Gerald Fitch 3-pointer with 18:16 remaining, 53-33. Marshall then whittled the UK lead back down to 12 points over the next nine minutes, 69-57, on Tamar Slay's basket and free throw. "We just couldn't get it back under 10 (points)," Marshall center J.R. VanHoose said of the second half mini-rally by Marshall. UK answered with another Fitch three, a Marquis Estill dunk, and a Keith Bogans three-pointer to run the UK lead back up to 22, in a flurry that lasted less than two and one-half minutes.

Marshall never really got closer than 20 points the rest of the game, until Tamar Slay's outside shot went in with only :22 remaining in the game. Adam Chiles' free throw sealed the score at 90-73.

Marshall coach Greg White pointed to inconsistent guard play from his three 'new' guards, and suggested the play at guard would improve as the season goes along. "Turovers were a problem tonight," White said. "We've got some young guards, and that's what young guards do."

Marshall shot a much-improved 51.7% in the second half (15-of-29), and finished the game shooting a respectable 39.3% (24-of-61). The Herd shot an even 25% from three-point range (4-of-16), and hit 77.8% of their free throws.

Coach Greg White noted that this was the first time in his coaching career that he had three players score a double-double: J.R. VanHoose finished with 16 points, 12 rebounds; Tamar Slay had 26 points, 10 rebounds; and Latece Williams had 15 points, 11 rebounds. "I think that's a pretty good starting point," White summed up.

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