"We were able to play well against the press," Jirsa said, "and get some easy layups."
Marshall's Tre Whitted tied his career high with 20 points to lead all scorers, joined by Mark Patton (14), Joe Miles (12) and Travis Aikens (11) in double figures. On defense, Marshall grabbed a noteworthy 38 rebounds —32 defensive, 6 offensive— and stole the ball eight times. In stark contrast to Saturday's performance against Appy State, MU's Mark Patton noted the defensive effort was directly related to an emphasis on running the floor at practice the last two days.
"The main thing is sprinting back and not giving up any easy baskets," Patton said . "Coach stressed that we need to get back on defense and run. So, we practiced running. We didn't run as hard as we could at the Appalachian game."
Travis Aikens scored two of his 11 points over Charleston Southern's Mario Williams.photo by Greg Perry/HI staff
The Herd shot out to a quick 8-0 lead in the first half, and Charleston Southern never held the lead. Travis Aikens converted a basket-and-one with 4:35 left to give Marshall a 18-point lead at 34-16. Another Aikens layup gave MU their largest lead of the half at 21 points, 40-19 with 1:13 left, before settling on a 40-23 lead at the half.
"I like going out there and being aggressive," said Tre Whitted. "My teammates were penetrating, and it opened up a lot of gaps."
The Herd went on a 12-2 run to open the second half, with MU's Tre Whitted hitting two consecutive threes to extend the MU lead to 50-25 with 16:27 left. Reserve Adam Zimmerman drained a three with 1:43 left to give Marshall their largest lead of the game at 32 points, 82-50.
"He played awesome tonight," said Aikens of Whitted's hot shooting. "We got the 'w'."
Ryan Lamb got one of his two steals from Charleston Southern's Ferdinand Cain in the first half.photo by Greg Perry/HI staff
Marshall's 44 points in the paint signalled the 59.2% shooting (29-of-49 including 6-of-16 from three), capped by The Herd's 81.8% free-throw shooting (18-of-22). Charleston Southern was held to just 28.4% from the field (19-of-67), with only Mario Williams scoring in double figures with 14 points.
The win moves Marshall up to an even 4-4, while CSU drops to the same 4-4 record with the loss. The decisive win left a good taste in Tre Whitted's mouth heading into the holiday break.
"Everybody will have smiles on their faces going home," said Whitted with a grin. "And coming back."