Herd Gets Wright St. In Second Half, 79-72

Marshall sophomore forward Markel Humphrey (Ellenwood, Ga.) fueled a furious Thundering Herd comeback in the second half with a career-high 24 points to lead MU to a 79-72 win over the visiting Raiders from Wright State. Humphrey ended the night 7-of-14 from the floor and eight-of-nine from the charity stripe to go along with nine rebounds to lead the Herd in both points and rebounds.

Marshall would need all of Humphrey's heroics after falling down by 15 at the half, 37-22. Wright State was an impressive 58.3% from the floor in the first stanza, and 54.5% from beyond-the-arc. Meanwhile, the Herd mustered only 26.9% from the floor and 10% from three-point land.

The second half was a different story, as Marshall upped its full court pressure and caused a flurry of Wright State turnovers, which turned into easy Herd lay-ins early in the second period. Marshall began the second half on a 22-2 run and erased the 10-point Raider halftime lead completely nearly five minutes into the second half.

Travis Aikens put up a shot over Wright State's Vaughn Duggins in the first half of The Herd's 79-72 win on Wednesday evening in Huntington. photo by Greg Perry/HI staff

Marshall pushed its lead to 15 with 6:43 to play on a Robbie Jackson lay-up, and held on down the stretch to come away with the win. Wright State trimmed the Herd lead to four on three different occasions in the final 1:29 of regulation, but it was as close as the Raiders would get.

"Coach Jirsa told us to leave it out there," said junior guard Mark Dorris, who scored 13 points on the night. "By the time we hit the locker room floor, it all needed to be left out there.

"As a team, we're here together. Win together, lose together, we have each other's back."

Marshall guard Chris Ross saved a loose ball from Wright State's Tyrone Scott in the first half. photo by Greg Perry/HI staff

The Herd blistered the nets in the second half in a complete reversal of fortune. MU fired in 63.3% of its shots, the best 20-minute percentage of the season, and held off Wright State with clutch free throw shooting, making 15-of-21 (71.4%) at the line.

Marshall had three other scorers in double-digits besides Humphrey. Travis Aikens scored 14 points, Mark Dorris, tallied 13, and Chris Ross added ten points for the Herd. Ross also added seven assists on the night.

For Wright State, point guard DeShaun Wood tallied 24 points, with 14 of those coming in the final three minutes. Vaughn Duggins also added 15 points for the Raiders.

"I was happy to see us come back and win with some excitement," said Marshall coach Ron Jirsa. "The players did a good job getting to their spots on the press and that's how we got back in it." The Herd returns to action Saturday afternoon with a game at Princeton. Tip-off is slated for a 4 p.m. start.

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