"We were fine the first eight minutes or so," said Marshall coach Greg White. "Then we started committing turnovers."
The turnovers were caused by the at times overwhelming Rutgers (3-1 with the win) defensive pressure early in the first half. The Scarlet Knights turned the forced turnovers into a commanding 49-23 lead at halftime.
Marshall guard Ron Blackshear was sidelined early in the first half with three fouls, as was teammate Marvin Black. With those two players on the bench, Marshall shot a dismal 32% (8-for-25) in the first half, while Rutgers' Jerome Coleman lit the nets on fire with 22 first half points.
Black fouled out of the game with 14:10 remaining in the second half, with only 2 points and 5 turnovers to show.
"We're not going to face this kind of quickness in the MAC all year," White summed up.
The second half saw Marshall fight back somewhat, cutting the Rutgers lead to 15 midway through the half. Marshall's David Anderson, a transfer from Oklahoma State, scored 15 points in the second half. Anderson was joined by Ardo Armpalu (12 points) and Blackshear (11 points) as the only Marshall players to score in double figures.
"I told our team the only way we lose tonight is if we don't learn from this experience," White added. "Defensively, we did much better in the second half."
Marshall (2-1 with the loss) committed 21 turnovers in the game, joining such elite company as North Carolina (20) and Columbia (27) to do so against Rutgers' defensive pressure. The Scarlet Knights' Herve Lamizana blocked 7 MU shots, a career high. "He's an extremely athletic kid," Marshall coach Greg White said in awe of Lamizana.
The Herd now returns home on Tuesday, only to get back on a plane bound for DeKalb, Illinois this Friday. Marshall opens MAC play against the Northern Illinois Huskies on Saturday at 1:05pm.