Mountaineers’ 3-game win streak snapped against Marshall


Courtesy of Samuel Cooke, App State Athletics

Graduate transfer forward Dibaji Walker fights a Marshall opponent for the ball in App State’s loss Feb. 2, 2023.

Ethan Smith, Sports Editor

Riding a three-game win streak, App State hosted Sun Belt rival Marshall Thursday, losing 66-58.

“We did some good things, but turned the ball over a little too much,” head coach Dustin Kerns said.

Coming into the night, Thundering Herd guard Taevion Kinsey led the Sun Belt in scoring and was tied for 11th in the country at 21.3 points per game. His backcourt partner Andrew Taylor ranked third in the Sun Belt at 19.2 points per game. Kinsey finished with 15 points, while Taylor led Marshall with 21.

“Leading scoring combo in the country,” Kerns said. “Taylor and Kinsey have gotten their points against everyone this season.”

The Mountaineers struggled offensively to open the game, scoring only eight points and registering four turnovers in the first 10 minutes of game action. Marshall’s full court pressure defense caused issues for the Black and Gold. Over the final 10 minutes in the half, App State scored 14 points to go into halftime down 31-24.

The Mountaineers shot 34% from the field and 25% from 3-point range. Junior forward CJ Huntley led the team with seven points and four rebounds. As a team, the Mountaineers shot 57% from the free-throw line.

The Thundering Herd only shot 30% from the field thanks to the Mountaineer defense forcing tough shots. Taylor scored 13 of the team’s 31 points. Kerns switched to a zone defense midway through the half, disrupting Marshall’s rhythm on offense.

“I thought our zone was effective for a little while,” Kerns said.

App State came out firing in the second half. The team opened the half on a 11-4 run to tie the game at 35. Following the hot start to the half, Marshall responded with a 9-0 run to go up by nine with 12:39 left in the half. 

App State and Marshall continued the back-and-forth for the remainder of the game, with the Thundering Herd not relinquishing the lead. After the Mountaineers got within six, Marshall closed the game out, winning 66-58. With the loss, App State fell to 13-11 on the season and 6-5 in Sun Belt play.

Sophomore guard Terence Harcum scored 14 points and senior forward Donovan Gregory added 12 points and six rebounds on his 22nd birthday. Freshman forward Justin Abson finished with a career high 16 points along with eight rebounds and three blocks.

“I was just focused on the game plan the coaches gave us,” Abson said.

The Mountaineers finished the game shooting 39% from the field and 31.6% from 3-point range. App State had 13 turnovers which resulted in 19 points off turnovers for the Thundering Herd. 

“The 13 turnovers and 19 points off of it; that obviously affects our defense, but that’s easy offense for them,” Kerns said.

Marshall had a 15-6 advantage in second chance points and outrebounded the Mountaineers 41-39.

“We gotta want it better, want it more. They wanted it more tonight,” Huntley said.

App State returns to action Saturday for a matchup against James Madison. The game tips at 4 p.m. and can be streamed on ESPN+.