Jan. 13—HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — Making 57.6 percent of its shots (19-for-33) in the second half, including 50 percent (35-for-70) for the game, the Marshall University men's basketball team (14-4, 3-2 Sun Belt) took down the Southern Miss Golden Eagles (14-4, 3-2 Sun Belt), 89-67, in the Cam Henderson Center on Thursday night.
The game was nationally televised on ESPN2.
"There was a great energy in the crowd, the players and it was a good chance to showcase Marshall — not only our basketball team, but our fan base and how we run our operation," Herd men's basketball head coach Dan D'Antoni said after the win. "I want to thank Brad Smith for being here and Christian Spears for all they do to support this program. We've got a bunch of good kids that represent the school well."
Freshman Micah Handlogten continued his hot streak with 17 points and 16 rebounds for his third straight double-double. The center made eight of his 10 attempts in the victory.
"I'd say definitely the energy really helped that. It really felt it helped us play better and to get the lead up more to keep the crowd going," Handlogten said about the crowd of 4,321 in attendance on Saturday night.
Marshall was up by just three points, 43-40, after a 9-2 Golden Eagle run with 16:36 left in the ballgame. Freshman Jacob Connor, who tallied seven points and a career-high four steals, ended the streak with a triple to jump start a 16-5 Herd advantage.
"Drew said it best when he came to the bench. He said, 'They had their run. Now, it's our turn to have our run.' You really can't lose focus in that time and you really can't panic. They cut the lead down, but we still had the lead. That's what you have to remember," Kinsey said about the Herd run.
During the run, junior Kamdyn Curfman nailed two of his five three-pointers as Handlogten and fifth-year senior Taevion Kinsey contributed four points each. Kinsey finished with 23 points and seven assists as Curfman recorded 17 points and a career-high nine assists.
The Herd, which saw a 69-51 lead, put Southern Miss out of reach with the home side's lead not dipping below 14 points in the final 11:16 of the win.
Curfman's final long ball of the night put Marshall up by 24 points, 89-65, with 47 seconds left for its largest lead of the game.
Redshirt senior Andrew Taylor finished a pair of assists and a rebound away from a triple-double as he put 19 points on the scoreboard.
Kinsey registered his 11th game this season with at least 20 points and his seventh game with at least 20 or more points and 5 or more assists.
The Herd assisted on 26 of its 35 makes, second most in a game this season.
MU is 4-0 when it has shot 50 percent or better from the field and has won its last 10 contests when it scores 80 or more points this season.
Handlogten recorded his seventh double-double of the season, which ties him for No. 1 in the nation among freshmen. It was his 11th game with 10 or more rebounds.
Curfman drained five three-pointers for the fourth time this season.
Taylor has scored 10 or more points in all 18 games this season.
13 of Marshall's 14 wins have been by 10 or more points this season.
The Herd closes out a three-game home stand against the Old Dominion Monarchs on Saturday at 7 p.m.