Herd’s George showed up Saturday
HUNTINGTON — One thing that went unnoticed Saturday when Southern Miss put a 50-point hurting on the Marshall Thundering Herd was Darius George came to play.
George was one of the Marshall men’s basketball team’s leading scorers with 11 points in the 101-51 blowout loss.
That doesn’t seem to be that big of a deal on the surface, but it was the 6-foot-7 sophomore forward’s first game in double figures since the North Carolina A&T game on Nov. 19 when he scored 13.
He made three of his 3-point field goal attempts for only the second time this season.
His 18 minutes on the court was the most he’s played since a New Year’s Eve game at Virginia.
“I patted him on the butt as he walked out (of the locker room),” Marshall head coach Dan D’Antoni
said in his postgame remarks. “I said, ‘Son that’s one of your best games for a long time. We’ve got to keep having you come, so make sure you are here every day with us.’
“That was one of his best performances in a while.”
George averages 5.5 points and 3.1 rebounds per game.
TRAVEL WOES: Adding insult to injury, the Marshall Thundering Herd had a delayed return from Southern Miss.
The Herd lost to the Golden Eagles, 101-51, Saturday night in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, and had a chartered flight scheduled to bring the team home after the game.
Well, some maintenance issues with the plane popped up and and another plane wasn’t available that night. After an extra overnight stay, the team flew home Sunday.
HIGH/LOW: Some of the highs and lows from the Southern Miss game.
• Herd opponent season highs — field goals (42), field goal percentage (64.6), 3-point field goals (13) and assists (30).
• Marshall season lows — points (51), field goals (15), field goal percentage (25.0), 3-point field goal percentage (20.0), steals (4) and fouls (10).
SCOUTING REPORT: UTEP (7-12, 2-6 Conference USA) comes to Marshall (12-9, 5-3) for a 7:30 p.m. Thursday game that is televised on beIN Sports.
UTEP broke from a three-game losing streak Saturday night with a 57-53 win at home against Charlotte (5-15, 2-7).
“We’ll take (wins) any way we can get them right now,” first-season UTEP head coach Rodney Terry said.
With UTEP leading 55-53 with four seconds remaining Jordan Lathon blocked a shot by Jon Davis of the 49ers out of bounds in favor of the Miners. Davis then fouled Evan Gilyard who sank a pair of free throws with three seconds remaining.
THE PODS: C-USA teams all play 14 games before they are split into pods based on the standings. Two of the pods will have five teams (first to fifth, sixth to 10th) and the last pod will have the bottom four teams (11 to 14). Bonus play within the pods will complete the 18-game league schedule.
Teams in the top pod now are North Texas, UAB, UTSA, Old Dominion and Marshall.
The hope is having the top five teams playing against similar competition could produce more quality wins to maybe influence the NCAA Tournament selection committee.
There is a full week from when the pods are set until the next game and the conference is expected to make the schedule as travel friendly as possible.
Teams are guaranteed conference tournament seeding according to their pod. For example, if a team is in the top pod it will be seeded no lower than fifth in the tournament. Only 12 teams qualify for the tournament.
UTEP (7-12, 2-6) AT MARSHALL (12-9, 5-3)
WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Thursday
WHERE: Cam Henderson Center, Huntington
TV: beIN Sports
RADIO: WDGG 93.7-FM, ESPN 94.1-FM and 930-AM, WMUL 88.1-FM