free hit counter code Appalachian State pulls away late, tops Marshall, 73-58 –

Appalachian State pulls away late, tops Marshall, 73-58

— By David Walsh

Marshall trailed Appalachian State by just two points with 11 minutes to play.

From that point, the night would belong to the Mountaineers as they capitalized on a couple of runs and dry spells by the Thundering Herd to take the Sun Belt Conference matchup, 73-58, Thursday night in front of 3,804 fans at Holmes Convention Center in Boone, N.C.

Appalachian State is unbeaten (12-0) at home.

The 58 points represent the Herd’s second-lowest output in a game. The first was 52 in a 67-52 loss at James Madison on Jan. 20.

Appalachian State is 21-5 and 11-2 in the Sun Belt Conference.

Marshall falls to 12-14, 7-6 SBC. The Herd’s next game is Saturday against Coastal Carolina in Conway, S.C. Start time is 2 p.m.

Ryan Nutter drained a three for the Herd to cut the deficit to 49-47 with 11:01 to play. From that point, the Herd got just one point from Obinna Anochili-Killen, two from Kamdyn Curfman, two from Kevon Voyles and six from Jacob Conner on two threes. That’s it. In one stretch, Marshall made just 2-of-12 shots.

The Mountaineers enjoyed a 6-0 run late in the half and knocked down their final five shots to win going away. Tre-Von Spillers scored with 10:40 left and Justin Abson with 9:30 to go to push the lead back to six at 53-47 and trigger the late onslaught.

“It was hard. They gave us some opportunities, we didn’t make plays,” Herd coach Dan D’Antoni said on the post-game radio show. “They played us pretty rough. We have to adjust to that. This is a tough place to play in.”

Kevon Voyles led Marshall with 19 points. Jacob Conner added 11 and nine rebounds. Curfman finished with 11. Nate Martin led in rebounds with 12.

Obinna Anochili-Killen, the Herd’s leading scorer, struggled the whole game. He hit just 1-of-14 shots and one free throw for three points.

“Obinna’s got to be more aggressive in there,” D’Antoni said. “Jacob did a little bit, but could be better. Not aggressive enough to score in the lane. He has to develop that.”

Marshall finished 22-of-37 from the field (32.8 percent), including 8-of-21 from three (38.1 percent).

“We’ve got to be better than that,” D’Antoni said. “We had a few chippies. We’ve got to make those.”

The Mountaineers thrived on second-half shooting. They were 17-of-31 and 29-of-57 for the game. Donovan Gregory led the home team with 19 points. He hit 8-of-13 shots. Tre’Von Spillers had a double-double with 14 points and 14 rebounds. He made 6-of-8 shots from the floor. Myles Tate finished with 12 on 5-of-8 shooting to go with five assists. Appalachian State also had six blocks. The Mountaineers are 15-1 when holding an opponent under 40 percent shooting.

For Mountaineers coach Dustin Kerns, this was his first win against Marshall. He had been 0-3.

Marshall leads the overall series against Appalachian State 34-20. The schools were Southern Conference rivals for about 20 years before Marshal joined the Mid-American Conference in 1997.

Obinna Anochili-Killen was 1-of-10 from the field with one rebound with five minutes gone in the second half.

The teams will have the rematch Feb. 24 in Huntington. The game will be on either ESPN2 or ESPNU for national telecast. Start time has been moved to 6 p.m.

It will be the Herd’s Senior Day.

In the afternoon, Marshall’s women defeated Appalachian State, 87-78, in an Education Day contest.

Abby Beeman led the Thundering Herd with 21 points, nine rebounds and six assists. Meredith Maier added 14 points and Sydni Scott and Breanna Campbell 13 each.

Alexis Black paced the Mountaineers with 24 points.

Marshall finished with 14 threes and got 29 points off 26 Appalachian State turnovers.

Marshall leads the Sun Belt Conference at 12-1 and is 18-6 overall. The Herd outscored the home team 29-18 in the fourth period thanks to 11-of-18 shooting from the field.

Marshall’s next game is Saturday against Old Dominion in Norfolk, Va. Start time is 2 p.m.


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