Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

December 2, 2012

Ponder scores 26, but UNCW falls at Marshall

Staff reports
Bluefield Daily Telegraph

HUNTINGTON — DeAndre Kane sank two free throws with 21 seconds left to give Marshall University its final lead, and the Thundering Herd took a 61-58 home victory against UNC–Wilmington on Saturday night at the Cam Henderson Center.

Bluefield High School graduate Craig Ponder was the leading scorer for the visiting Seahawks. The redshirt-freshman guard scored 26 points, going 11 for 16 from the floor and 3 for 4 from three-point range.

Ponder also had two assists, two steals, two rebounds and four turnovers for UNC–Wilmington (3-4). His last turnover came with 5 seconds left in the game.

Kane led Marshall with 16 points and five assists. Elijah Pittman had 13 points, D.D. Scarver added 12 and Nigel Spikes had 10 points and 13 rebounds. Dennis Tinnon provided seven points and 12 boards.

After going 0 for 2 at the foul line in the first half, Marshall connected on 16 of 24 free throws in the second half, enough to hold off the Seahawks’ hot shooting from the floor in the period. UNC–Wilmington made 14 of their 24 field-goal tries after intermission, but had only three foul shots in that span.

A Kane three-pointer at the 13:52 mark of the first half gave Marshall its largest lead of the game, 15-7. Ponder answered with three straight points, on a jumper and a free throw after being fouled, and cut the Herd’s lead to one with a layup for a 15-14 score.

Ponder put the Seahawks ahead briefly on a trey with 4:30 left in the first half.

The teams were tied 28-28 at halftime.

The former Bluefield Beaver gave his team its largest lead, 33-28, with a layup early in the second half. The Herd and the Hawks were tied nine times and there were 16 lead changes in front of a crowd of 5,689.

Marshall won the rebounding battle 39 to 30 and got 12 second-chance points. Both sides had 14 turnovers, but the Herd converted Seahawks’ miscues into 18 points.

Notes: Marshall has won eight of nine games in which Spikes has scored 10 or more points. ... Marshall won its 26th straight home non-conference game when holding the opponent to 60 or fewer points.�