West Virginia men are seeking revenge versus Marshall
Division I basketball bragging rights in the state of West Virginia get settled Wednesday night — and it could get physical.
There is no love lost between West Virginia (13-5) and Conference USA frontrunner Marshall (13-4), who meet for their annual Capital Classic clash at Charleston Civic Center.
The teams combined for 64 personal fouls, including two technicals, in Marshall's upset 75-71 victory over the Mountaineers last season. In the past four meetings of the neutral-site game, there has been an average of 52 fouls.
"You have to call fouls when fouls are there," WVU coach Bob Huggins said. "You can't take it to an extreme. Go back and look at the tape, and there were a lot of fouls."
Marshall led last season's game, 35-21, at halftime and defeated WVU for the first time in five years.
"They had the first punch last year," WVU senior guard Truck Bryant said. "But we're a different team now, and I know we will be ready to play. It hurt us last year losing that game, at that moment. It's never forgotten about."
Added WVU senior forward Kevin Jones, "It gives us extra motivation coming into this game. We are definitely going to be up for the game."
Last year's win was a big victory for Marshall coach Tom Herrion, who, as an assistant at Pitt, was struck below the eye with a quarter thrown from the WVU student section during the 2009-10 game at WVU Coliseum.
This year's Thundering Herd team ranks among the top rebounding teams in the nation.
"This group has a sense of poise and confidence," Herrion said. "There's not a panic button."
Marshall's top player is former Schenley star DeAndre Kane. The 6-foot-4 sophomore wing, the C-USA Freshman of the Year last season, ranks in the top seven in the conference in scoring, assists and steals.
> > Herrion was involved in a bizarre play Saturday when he was "fouled" by a UCF player. Isaiah Sykes apparently elbowed Herrion as he ran past the Marshall bench, sending Herrion reeling.
Officials reviewed the play and hit Sykes with a flagrant foul. Marshall made one of its two free throws in the Thundering Herd's 65-64 victory.
Huggins was asked Tuesday if he had ever been "fouled" like Herrion.
"I've drawn a lot of fouls," Huggins said. "Mine are generally of the two-shot version (technical)."
> > Fans of up-tempo basketball will enjoy the action at Palumbo Center when Duquesne (11-7, 2-2 Atlantic 10) hosts surprising UMass (14-4, 3-1) tonight. UMass is attempting an average of 24 3-pointers per game, making it one of the most prolific outside shooting teams in the nation.
"Duquesne on the road has always been a tough place for us," UMass coach Derek Kellogg said.
Massachusetts at Duquesne
When/where: 7 p.m. Wednesday/Palumbo Center
On air: WPGB-FM (104.7)
Records: UMass 14-4, 3-1 Atlantic 10; Duquesne 11-7, 2-2
Line: Duquesne by 5
Series: UMass leads, 34-24
Of note: UMass, picked 12th in the A-10 preseason poll, is one of three teams tied for first place.
Players to watch
UMass: Chaz Williams, So., G — The 5-foot-9 Brooklyn native leads the team in scoring (16.2), assists (5.9) and steals (2.3).
Duquesne: T.J. McConnell, So., G — The Chartiers Valley product is averaging 11.8 points, 6.2 assists and 2.7 steals.
West Virginia vs. Marshall
When/where: 7:30 p.m. Wednesday/Charleston Civic Center, Charleston, W. Va.
On air: ESPN3/WBGG-AM (970)
Records: Marshall 13-4, West Virginia 13-5.
Line: WVU by 4
Series: West Virginia leads, 28-11
Of note: WVU scored only 21 first-half points in last season's 75-71 loss to Marshall.
Players to watch
West Virginia: Kevin Jones, Sr., F — Leads the Big East in scoring (20.1) and rebounding (11.6).
Marshall: DeAndre Kane, So., G — The Schenley product is fourth in C-USA in scoring (15.9 ppg).
Duquesne at Temple
When/where: 4 p.m. Wednesday/Liacouras Center, Philadelphia
Records: Duquesne 13-4, 1-1 Atlantic 10; Temple 8-8, 2-1.
Series: Temple leads, 30-11
Of note: Duquesne is 1-13 in its past 14 games against Temple.
Players to watch
Duquesne: Alex Gensler, Sr., G — She has 38 3-pointers this season, and averages 14.2 points and 3.1 assists.
Temple: Shey Peddy, Sr., G — The 5-foot-7 all-Atlantic 10 guard had 21 points and eight rebounds in 61-57 win at Dayton on Sunday.