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MU men win big in hoops series

August 12, 2018
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Marshall freshman Taevion Kinsey puts up a shot during offseason workouts June 5 in Cam Henderson Center. Kinsey led the Herd with 17 points in an exhibition game Saturday against University of the Bahamas.

NASSAU, Bahamas — Marshall Thundering Herd men’s basketball passed its first test Saturday in Summer of Thunder 2018.

Marshall played exciting basketball at times, sloppy basketball on other occasions and committed too many fouls, but ran past University of the Bahamas 105-70 in Sir Kendall Isaacs Gymnasium.

Unofficially, freshman guard Taevion Kinsey led Marshall with 17 points, one more than All-Conference USA senior guard Jon Elmore. Sophomore forward Darius George pitched in 13 points and sophomore guard Jarrod West scored 11.

Marshall substituted often and the Herd had 11 of 13 players in uniform in the scoring column, but there was one noticeable unexplained absence. Senior guard C.J. Burks, a starter last season, did not play and didn’t appear to be on the bench during the YouTube telecast.

Fouls and free throws kept the University of the Bahamas in the game after the home squad trailed 32-10 early in the second quarter. Marshall was up 53-32 at halftime before the Bahamians closed the gap to 63-54 with 3:53 to go in the third quarter. Marshall was called for 32 fouls and the Bahamas had 21. The Bahamas made 32 of 45 foul shots while the Herd was 15 for 22.

Ramon Dames scored 21 for the Bahamas team and was 10 for 10 on free throws. Kemsy Sylvester, who netted 16 points and snagged 11 rebounds, was 8 for 15 at the foul line.

Turnovers were another issue. Marshall’s depth allowed head coach Dan D’Antoni to use full-court pressure defense and the Herd capitalized on 41 turnovers by its opponent. Marshall also lost its grip often, turning the basketball over 25 times.

Although the Herd surpassed 100 points, defense was a big key to the victory.

In one brief spurt near the end of the first quarter, when the lead reached 20 points, turnovers resulted in baskets by freshman guard DeAundra Murphy (9 points) and George. Another burst early in the second quarter, when the lead grew to 30 points, was created by steals resulting in scores for Kinsey, freshman Iran Bennett (5 points) and Elmore.

When the home team drew within nine points in period three, Elmore responded with two free throws, Murphy dunked and made a free throw, Murphy converted a turnover with a layup and Elmore nailed back-to-back 3-point shots for a 76-54 edge.

A 12-point Herd streak in the fourth quarter ended with a West 3-pointer and their biggest lead of 103-61 with 3:23 left.

Summer of Thunder 2018 is an all-summer Bahamas Basketball Federation event for NCAA Division I and II program playing local teams. The NCAA headliners are the Kentucky Wildcats and North Carolina Tar Heels.

This is the 10th year of the exhibition series, which is designed to expose local Bahamian talent to an international style of basketball as well as play against NCAA competition.

The NCAA allows its basketball programs to take preseason foreign trips once every four years and gives those teams 10 extra practices ahead of the excursion to prepare. Freshmen are permitted to participate as long as they meet NCAA Initial Eligibility Requirements and summer coursework requirements.

SUMMER OF THUNDER 2018

Saturday: Marshall 105, University of the Bahamas 70

Monday: Marshall vs. NPBA All-Stars, 5:30 p.m.

Wednesday: Marshall vs. Providence Storm, 6 p.m.

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