HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – After falling behind by 18 early in the second half, the Marshall men’s basketball (5-7) team rallied, but could not complete the comeback before falling to Arkansas State (6-4), 83-82, Saturday night at Cam Henderson Center.
Arkansas State got off to a hot start after the opening tip to take a 19-5 lead just over five minutes into the game as the Red Wolves used a 5-for-7 shooting stretch from beyond the arc to jump out front of the Thundering Herd.
The Herd would answer on its home floor as it used a 20-6 run midway through the first half to knot the game up at 25 apiece while 6:52 remained until the half.
The Red Wolves would become reignited from long range to spur another run, this one being 22-6, putting themselves up 47-31 at the halftime break. Arkansas State went 10-of-19 from deep in the first 20 minutes of play.
Freshman guard Kareem Canty (Harlem, N.Y.) and sophomore forward TyQuane Goard (Charleston, W.Va.) led Marshall in scoring in the first half, each with 10 points in starting roles.
In the second half, Arkansas State continued its surge and took a game-high lead of 18 points with 18:07 remaining in the contest, but the Herd would fight back. With a gritty resilience, Marshall had the Red Wolves backpedaling.
When Canty got hot halfway through the second half, things got interesting as the Red Wolves lead had been reduced to two points, 74-72, with under four minutes remaining.
Both sides continued to battle with Marshall working to claw its way back into the contest. With 39.8 seconds to play, freshman forward Ryan Taylor (Indianapolis) knocked down a three on a kick-out pass from Chris Thomas (Denver) to tie the game at 79.
Despite going 2-for-12 from three-point land in the second half, Arkansas State got one when it needed to as Brandon Reed drained an open three to help the Red Wolves retake the lead, 82-79, with 24.5 seconds left.
After both sides exchanged trips to the free-throw line, the Herd trailed 83-80 with 5.1 seconds left. Unable to connect on a three that would have tied the game, Taylor tipped in the miss before time expired, bringing the final score to 83-82.
Goard finished the night with 21 points and 13 rebounds for his first career double-double, with both marks setting career highs. Canty scored a game high 22 points, while Thomas and Shawn Smith (Sacramento, Calif.) rounded out the Marshall double-figure scorers with 14 and 13 respectively.
The Herd will return from its holiday break with a road contest at South Carolina, Monday, Dec. 30, at 7 p.m. The game will be televised on Comcast Sports Southeast (CSS).