Marshall basketball preview: Herd squares off with Bobcats again
CUSA-fans.com has a new staff of team correspondents this season to help bring you, the fan, more detailed Conference USA sports coverage. Today, our new Marshall Correspondent Paul Wood previews the basketball game between Marshall and Ohio.
Marshall will host the Ohio University Bobcats this Wednesday, January 3, in a rematch of their December 2 meeting at OU. The Bobcats won the first meeting 84-78 in overtime.
The Bobcats were led by a balanced effort from their starters. All five starters scored in double digits and were led by center Leon Williams 18 points. All of the Bobcats starters average better than 13 point per game on the season. Despite the success of the starters, Ohio only managed four points from their bench in the first match-up.
OU used a solid inside game to outmuscle the Herd in the first meeting. Marshall’s big men will have to crash the boards and keep the Bobcats from getting second chance baskets. Williams and forward Jerome Tillman both average eight rebounds per game for Ohio.
Marshall will look to turn the tables from the first meeting and force OU’s big men to run the floor. This will hopefully keep the Herd out of the foul trouble they experienced at OU.
Ohio has gone 6-2 since the first meeting, including their most recent victory over Big East power Cincinnati. Marshall has struggled since the first meeting, going just 2-3. However, the Herd is coming off an upset win at home over a very good Virginia Tech team.
In the Herd’s last two games, guard Mark Dorris has emerged as a scoring threat. Dorris is averaging 21 points per game over the last two contests. This gives the Herd another go-to-guy in addition to Aikens (13 ppg) and sophomore guard Markel Humphrey (13 ppg). Dorris had 10 points in the first contest. Aikens led the Herd with 19 points in the first meeting. Darryl Merthie contributed 16 points off the bench for MU.