Pena Shoots Herd to 99-80 Win over WVU Tech

Special to HuntingtonNews.Net
Pena Shoots Herd to 99-80 Win over WVU Tech

HUNTINGTON, WV Senior guard Dago Pena erupted for a career-high 28 points including eight three-pointers to lead the Marshall men’s basketball team to a 99-80 win over West Virginia Tech on Wednesday.


Pena rarely missed as he was 9-for-12 from the field including 8-for-11 from three-point range in just 21 minutes of play. It was the most three’s made by a Marshall player since Ronald Blackshear hit eight at Eastern Michigan on Feb. 3, 2003.


“It was nice to see Dago have a breakout game after he had struggled,” said Marshall head coach Tom Herrion. “He has been working hard and for him to hit shots, it does a lot for his confidence.”

Marshall (9-2) as a team was hot from three-point range, shooting a season-high 54.2 percent (13-for-24). Its 13 made three-pointers was the most by the Herd since hitting 13 against Troy on Dec. 12, 2009.


Five Marshall players scored in double figures as the Herd shot a season-high 52.2 percent from the field.


Senior guard Damier Pitts scored 17 points on 6-of-8 shooting from the field, including 3-for-3 from three point range, and had four assists.


Sophomore guard DeAndre Kane had another all-around game with 16 points, six rebounds and five assists.


Dennis Tinnon and Justin Coleman each scored 12 points. Tinnon added 13 rebounds for his sixth double-double of the season.


Marshall trailed WVU Tech (8-2) early on by the score of 7-5. The Herd quickly pulled away and ended the half scoring eight unanswered points to take a 48-28 halftime lead.


In the second half, Marshall’s lead never dipped below the 15 points. Both teams shot extremely well as the Herd shot 56.3 percent and the Golden Bears shot 65.6 percent in the second frame. Pena had 19 in the half, including five consecutive made three-pointers in a span of just under five minutes.


“At the beginning of the year I had trouble finding my shot, but my teammates kept finding me,” Pena said. “I just kept letting the ball go and it went in.”


Every player that suited up for the Herd, earned minutes and all but one scored.


Freshman forward JP Kambola scored the first two points of his career in the final minute of the game.


Marshall outrebounded WVU Tech 47-30 and outmatched the Golden Bears in bench production 39-16.


“We have improved to 9-2 by doing lots of good things,” Herrion said. “Our offense is evolving and we are starting to be consistent.”

Josh Proctor led four Golden Bears in double figures with 21 points. He also added six rebounds and four assists.


Marshall will take some days off for the Holidays before getting back to practice to prepare for a rematch with Belmont. The game will take place in Nashville, Tenn. on Dec. 29 at 8 p.m. ET.

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