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Campbell edges Marshall, 67-65

— By David Walsh

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — Campbell led virtually from start to finish and made two plays in the closing seconds to get past Marshall, 67-65, Thursday night at Cam Henderson Center. Attendance was 4,131.

The Camels led from the outset until 45 seconds remained when the Thundering Herd’s Obinna Anochili-Killen followed a Taevion Kinsey miss with a dunk for a 65-64 lead. That was Marshall’s first lead since 3-0 at the game’s outset.

Campbell’s Ricky Clemons responded with a layup with 25 seconds left to put the visitors back on top. With the Herd going for a final shot, it turned the ball over instead. A pass went out of bounds, the Herd appeared it would still keep the ball, but after a review by the officials, possession went to Campbell. Messiah Thompson got fouled, made the first free throw, but missed the second with six seconds left.

The Herd got possession, hustled for a final shot, but Darius George ended up missing a three-pointer at the buzzer.

“We didn’t do enough early,” Marshall coach Dan D’Antoni said. “It shouldn’t be that tough at the end. Give them credit. Hopefully it’s a good experience, teach us what we have to do. You’ve got to beat them, they’re not going to beat themselves. We can’t go 3-for-24 from the three-point line. Our scoring leaders have to step up. We’ve got work to do, where to go with the shots.”

George finished with a career-high 24 points and eight rebounds. Anochi-Killen added 13 points and eight rebounds. However, the Herd’s top two guns, Kinsey and Andy Taylor, totaled 10 each and went a combined 10-of-30. Marshall made just 3-of-24 threes and Taylor went 0-of-6.

Campbell’s biggest lead came at 21-9 with 11:26 left in the opening half.

“Come out and don’t dig holes,” George said. “Do what the coach says. Defensive breakdowns on our part. That’s a good team we played. We knew we’d come out (second half) and give everything we’ve got. We just fell short.”

D’Antoni said George and Anochili-Killen were two obvious two bright spots on a night the shots didn’t fall and points didn’t come easily for the Herd.

“Does the same thing always,” D’Antoni said. “Lot of hustle points. Obinna. He’s coming into his own a little bit.”

Cedric Henderson Jr. led the Big South Conference member (3-1) with 21 points. Jordan Whitfield finished with 15 and Thompson came off the bench for 13.

Marshall (2-1) is back in action Sunday against Jackson State. Game time is now 4 p.m. at Henderson Center. The Herd soccer team begins defense of its College Cup championship at 1 p.m. at Hoops Family Field against Providence. The Friars beat Marist, 2-0, Thursday.

D’Antoni said his faith hasn’t been shaken. Correct mistakes and play with intensity in the second half nearly worked. More production from Kinsey, who came in averaging 21.5 points, and Taylor would be welcome, too.

“They’re all going to fight,” D’Antoni said. “I could make up a story and said I did something great, but it wouldn’t be true. Stay confident. Got to play carefree, not play iffy. Bear down.

“I think they know they’re leaders. Got to carry the load. Sometimes it takes a while to get used to. I hold faith they’ll bring it on.”

Campbell always answered the ball when MU made runs. The Camels led 43-32 with at the 14:43 mark of the second half only to the Herd to on a 14-4 run capped by a jumper by Mikel Byers to get within one, 47-46, with 10:09 left.

Marshall totaled 11 offensive rebounds, 19 second-chance points had 39 edge in total rebounds. The Herd made 12-of-14 free throws. Marshall had scored 98 and 80 points in its first two games. The series between the two is now 1-1.

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