Marshall plays host to Bluefield University

By Bill Cornwell

Marshall’s Basketball team plays its final non-Division One of the season tonight as NAIA member Bluefield University pays a visit to the Henderson Center.

The game tips off at 7 and will be shown on ESPN +.

The Herd (5-3) is coming off of a 72-71 home win over Duquesne, while the Rams (8-3) last played on December 4th, beating Johnson University of Tennessee 92-82.

Tonight’s game is considered an exhibition for Bluefield, but is a regular game for Marshall and will count in the Herd’s record and statistics.

Richard Morgan is in his 12th season leading Bluefield and he has a 181-174 career record.

Bluefield is averaging 79.9 points per game and is shooting 44 percent from the field.

Jeremiah Jenkins leads his side with 21.5 points per game and 3.8 assists per contest this season. He has been named the Appalachian Athletic Conference Player of the Week three times.

Marshall and Bluefield share a common opponent in Milligan University, which the Rams defeated 80-68 on Nov. 23 and Marshall defeated by an 80-58 score on November 15th.

Marshall Head Coach Dan D’Antoni says he doesn’t pay attention to the level of his opponent but expects Bluefield to be competitive against the Herd. He’s also hopeful that he gets to substitute often in the contest.

“We’re looking to get a lot more players in the game and see where everybody fits as we approach Conference play,” D’Antoni said.

D’Antoni says to expect a repeat of the starting lineup which proved successful in the Duquesne which featured guards Andrew Taylor, David Early, and Taevion Kinsey and forwards Obinna Anochili-Killen and Darius George.

“That lineup gave us lots of options with its speed and picked up our overall pace,” D’Antoni said. Eventually, we developed some offensive rhythm and the shots started falling in the second half.”

Kinsey still leads Marshall scorers with 21 points per game. Taylor, Anochili-Killen, and George also average scoring in double figures per game. Anochili-Killen is leading the Herd in rebounding with 7.4 per game and he’s blocked 37 shots in eight games.

After tonight’s game, Marshall starts a two-game road swing with games Saturday at Eastern Kentucky and next Wednesday at Ohio University.