Marshall defeated Bluefield College 94-67 in the Herd's lone preseason exhibition game Thursday night at the Cam Henderson Center. The Thundering Herd easily handled a Rams squad that does not feature a player over six-foot-eight, winning the rebounding battle 69-25.
Despite winning big, Marshall struggled in a few aspects of the game. Overall, it was a poor shooting night for the Herd. They shot less than 50 percent from the field while misfiring on 11 of 15 three point attempts. A big issue has carried over from last year as Marshall only converted 12 of 23 shots from the free throw line.
On a individual level, junior college transfer Elijah Pittman lead the Herd with 23 points. Getting his first chance to conduct Marshall's offense, sophomore point guard Chris Martin had more turnovers, four, than assist, two, but he did contribute 14 points and four rebounds. Speaking of rebounds, center Yous Mbao pulled down 13 while playing 25 minutes. Mbao was one of four players to snag at least nine boards as Pittman also had 13 with Jamir Hanner contributing 10 and Dennis Tinnon securing nine of his own.
Making their Marshall debuts, guard D.D. Scarver scored 18 points with eight rebounds while walk-on Austin Loop made the most of his six minutes of action, scoring two points. Also playing his first game in green and white, Tamron Manning converted one of three attempts for two points along with two assist and two rebounds.
Tonight's biggest story was the players that did not participate. Marshall's leading scorer from last year, DeAndre Kane and center Nigel Spikes were held out by coach Tom Herrion along with Robert Goff, who is recovering from off season knee surgery. Freshman point guard Kareem Canty did not play for what was described as a initial eligibility issue. Canty attended two schools last year, Arizona's Westwind Prep and Faith Baptist Christian School in Florida. Speculation on my part but, I would not be surprised if Canty's midyear transfer is causing his eligibility issue.