Kinsey Paces Men’s Basketball to Win over Howard with 14 Assists

Special to HNN Provided by Herd Zone
Kinsey Paces Men’s Basketball to Win over Howard with 14 Assists

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Led by a career game from sophomore guard Taevion Kinsey and a quartet of student-athletes with 10 or more points, the Marshall men's basketball team (2-3) ended a three-game losing streak with a 91-63 victory over Howard on Thursday night at the Cam Henderson Center.

"It was a good ball game," head coach Dan D'Antoni said after the win. "I thought we handled pick-and-rolls better. We worked on it the last couple of days. Taevion really came out and took the coaching and started being more patient. So did Jarrod. They had 14 and six assists each, 20 between the two of them. That's more like our team. Still a little work to do with the turnovers with 17 as a team."
Tonight's game was also played in honor of Mikel Beyer's stepbrother, Peyton, who tragically lost his life last Friday as there was a moment of silence before the game. Fans wore purple and the team wore purple socks and wrist bands in honor of Peyton. Purple was Peyton's favorite color.
"Life throws us all curveballs," D'Antoni said about the tragic accident. "There aren't many, if any, that I know that haven't had to face adversity in their life. I told him the greatest tribute to me for people who have left this earth is to live happily the rest of the way. I don't think they want you to look back at them. They want you to enjoy your life and that's what I told him. He (Peyton) wants him (Mikel Beyers) to play well."
Kinsey dished out a historic 14 assists, to just one turnover, to go with 14 points for a double-double. He fell three rebounds shy of a triple-double with seven in just 28 minutes of play. The 14 assists are the most since Jon Elmore set his career-high of 13 against Concord on Nov. 16, 2017, and are tied for eighth most in a game in program history. The guard also shot 7-for-8 from the field.
"He knew what he was doing," Kinsey jokingly said with a smile on his face after being told about falling short of assistant coach Cornelius Jackson's career-high 15 assists and being pulled from the game with about six minutes to play. On a more serious note, Kinsey continued, "we have to play like that every game. We needed this one. We have a break coming up this weekend for guys to relax. It's always good going into a breaking knowing that you're coming off a win.
Redshirt sophomore forward Iran Bennett set a career-high as he poured 17 points through the cylinder. Bennett also collected six rebounds and blocked two shots.
Redshirt junior forward Jannson Williams went 6-of-8 from the field, including 3-for-5 from beyond the arc, for 15 points. Williams also brought down five boards.
Junior guard Jarrod West brought up the end of the four with 10 or more points with 11 on the evening. West shot 50 percent (5-for-10) from the field with six assists, four rebounds and three steals on his stat line.
The Herd trailed for a mere 32 seconds and didn't trail after the 14:13 mark in the first half. Marshall led 47-27 at the half thanks to three runs of six or more points, including a 10-point run, in the opening half of play. The Bison had just one six-point run in the first half and no other run longer than three points.
Marshall went on cruise control in the second-half outscoring Howard by eight as it picked up the victory.
Kinsey's 14 assists are the most a Marshall student-athlete against a Division I opponent sinceassistant coach Cornelius Jackson's career-high of 15 set against Central Michigan on Dec. 30, 1999
West's three steals pull him one behind Tink Brown's 150 career steals and a tie for seventh most in program history.
The Herd shot 58.2 percent from the field (39-of-67), its best shooting night since Jan. 19, 2019, against FIU when it shot 57.8 percent from the field (37-of-64).
Kinsey recorded his second double-double in the last three games.
Marshall had 29 assists on its 39 makes, it's the most assists as a team since it had 28 against Mount St. Mary's last season on Nov. 14, 2018.
Sophomore guard Luke Thomas scored the first points of his career on a three and played a career-high 12 minutes.
Redshirt guard Jeremy Dillon also scored the first point of his Marshall career late in the contest.
Marshall will travel to the Sunshine State to battle SEC-foe Florida on Black Friday (Nov. 29) in Gainesville. Opening tip is scheduled for 9 p.m.
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