CHARLESTON, W.Va. — For those who follow West Virginia regularly, it seemed inevitable that the energetic, physical, nationally ranked Mountaineers would wear out a younger, smaller Marshall team.
Thursday night before 11,748 at the Civic Center, the phrase “wear out” and all its verb tenses were no metaphor, no exaggeration. In the second half of their 86-68 victory, the Mountaineers just plain wore out the Thundering Herd.
The 20th-ranked Mountaineers outscored the Thundering Herd 51-36 in the second half, but it seemed a bit more drastic than that. During Marshall’s string of 11 consecutive empty possessions, the gap was a lot more drastic.
In that stretch of 6 minutes, 11 seconds, the Mountaineers forced the Herd into going 0 for 7 with five turnovers. Add in a game-long rebounding domination, and the Herd collapsed under the weight of a 16-1 run…