And that point guard would be Enoch Bunch. The 6-0, 190-pound freshman from Nashville, Tennessee stepped to the forefront against Shepherd, scoring the first 8 points Marshall put on the board. Bunch ended up playing 38 minutes, and finished with 16 points, 11 assists.
"He really shot the ball well," coach Greg White said afterward. "That's what he does. You guys haven't seen it because we've been in close games."
Freshman guard Ronny Dawn drives past Shepherd's Philip Stewart.
It should also be noted that this was the first sighting of Bunch's leadership abilities on the floor. Playing 38 minutes and dishing out 11 assists provided Bunch the opportunity to run the show, and he took advantage of it. "That's what coach has been talking about all week, that he needed a leader," Bunch said as he found himself the center of the media's attention afterward. "Tonight, I just wanted to get all the guys into the game. And I told them that the game starts with me. I had to set the tempo."
And Bunch set quite a tempo. Marshall cruised through the first half unscathed, and took a whopping 49-18 lead into the lockerroom. From the 11-minute mark of the first half, Marshall went on a tear, outscoring the Rams 19-0 over the next 6 minutes to extend the lead to 38-10.
In the second half, it was more of the same as Marshall used the large point lead to work on the little things that had caused so much grief in the first three games (all losses) of the season. "We wanted to come into this game and work on the stuff that we hadn't been doing so well lately," J.R. VanHoose said. "This just gives us confidence right now."
Those 'little things' added up to the Herd outscoring Shepherd 48-27 in the second half. And everybody got in on the action. Six Marshall players scored in double figures (Latece Williams, VanHoose, Tamar Slay, Enoch Bunch, Ronny Dawn, and walk-on Keith Archie), with VanHoose the high-man at 21 points. Walk-on Keith Archie got some quality minutes (17), and used them wisely in hitting 4-of-6 shots.
Marshall shot 57.6% for the night (38-of-66), including 40.0% from three-point range (9-of-19).
Marshall now prepares for another Division 2 opponent in Arkansas-Monticello, which comes into the Henderson Center on Wednesday night at 7:30pm.