The Division 2 Boll Weevils played at Louisiana Tech last night, the bused two hours back to Monticello, Arkansas. The bus that was supposed to bring them to Huntington was late, and Newell's squad didn't leave until about 4am eastern time. They arrived in Huntington just before 7pm for a 7:30 tip at the Henderson Center. "We came out with about 15 minutes to go on the clock," UA-M coach Mike Newell said of his team's better-late-than-never entrance.
Latece Williams dunks early in the first half against UA-M
Marshall jumped out on the road-weary UA-M squad early and never really let up. A three-play series midway through the first half turned the tide for good in Marshall's favor did the trick. Tamar Slay stole the ball and got an easy basket. On the next possession, Marshall's Ronny Dawn performed the same feat. UA-M actually got the ball down the court on the next possession, only to have MU's Latece Williams waiting in the lane. Williams blocked Orlando Hampton's shot, and Slay took the fast-break opportunity for a crowd-pleasing dunk.
After that flurry, the Herd had a comfy 35-18 lead. Marshall's biggest lead came at the 5:05 mark -20 points, 38-18- but the Boll Weevils fought their way back, cutting the lead to 14 at the half, 46-32.
In the second half, it was more of the same, with Marshall extending their lead via a 10-0 run at the very beginning of the half. A Joe Dressel layup gave Marshall their biggest lead of 37 points with 3:03 left in the game.
The announced crowd of 4,506 was treated to three MU players (Slay, VanHoose, and Williams) all scoring over 20 points, with Slay the high man at 24 (VanHoose and Williams each had 21). J.R. VanHoose snagged 17 rebounds in the game, while Latece Williams had 8.
Marshall shot 56.9% from the field, on 37-of-65 shooting.
Marshall coach Greg White used the mis-match game to work on developing some inside-out work that resulted in VanHoose and Williams each getting over 20 points each. Two games in a row against Division 2 schools have given the Marshall squad a much-needed chance to work on guard play and inside-out plays. "We tried to do a little bit of that last year," VanHoose said. "We've got some plays where either one of us can be at one of three spots, and it's just a good thing that's worked out for us."
Marshall (2-3) now goes on a two-game road swing, at Winthrop on Monday and then at Radford next Thursday night. Arkansas-Monticello (0-6) will stay in Huntington for two days, then bus to Morgantown, WV to play the WVU Mountaineers on Saturday.