West Virginia uses strong second half to defeat Marshall 78-62 in the annual Capital Classic
Published: Wednesday, January 18, 2012
Updated: Thursday, January 19, 2012 00:01
When it rains, it pours.
That was the case Wednesday night in Charleston when West Virginia used a strong second half to beat Marshall 78-62 at the Capital Classic.
Tied at 30 at halftime, West Virginia made an early 10-0 run to open up a 44-37 lead with 13:16 remaining.
Marshall guard DeAndre Kane was called for a technical foul minutes later for spiking the ball after a foul.
It was the final indication that Marshall was unraveling at the seams.
West Virginia then went on an 8-2 run to open up a 64-57 lead with 3:56 remaining.
"I think they knew who one won the game," said senior point guard Truck Bryant. "We were still hungry."
Bryant, along with fellow senior Kevin Jones, said they wanted to avenge last year's loss in the Capital Classic.
"It meant a lot to us, especially coming off the loss last year," Jones said. "It's just emotions – I had a lot bottled up. I definitely take pride in (winning this game). You want to do it for the fans."
Jones led all scorers with 25 points and seven rebounds, while Bryant scored 22 points with seven rebounds.
"We wanted to go out with a bang," Bryant said, referring to his now 3-1 record against Marshall. "At the end of the day, that was our last time playing them."
The two teams were equal going into the locker rooms at halftime – tied up at 30. Bryant hit a buzzer-beating 3-point shot from the corner to tie it up.
West Virginia head coach Bob Huggins said the senior duo of Jones and Bryant helped his young team stay calm in the environment. The Mountaineers turned the ball over just three times in the second half.
"They look at him and K.J. because they've been through it so many times," Huggins said. "Our young guys rely on them a lot."
Marshall entered the game leading the nation in rebounds, but West Virginia, without starting center Deniz Kilicli, who was sidelined with a sprained ankle, outrebounded the Thundering Herd 37-27.
Forward Dennis Tinnon led Marshall with 10 rebounds, while Damier Pitts and Kane had 15 points and 19 points, respectively.
West Virginia scored four unanswered to start the second half and looked like they might be poised to run away from the Thundering Herd, but in a matter of seconds, the Herd had taken a 37-36 lead.
It was the last time Marshall would lead.
Wednesday's win was West Virginia's second-largest margin of defeat against Marshall in the history between the two teams. The other biggest was in 1989 when West Virginia won by 18.
The win is the largest margin of victory between the two teams in games played at the Charleston Civic Center.