All season long, Marshall senior point guard Jarrod West has spoken of having a Bulldog mentality on the court.
On Saturday night, that mentality was enough to take down a team nicknamed the Bulldogs.
West drilled a key 3-pointer in the game’s final minute to finalize Marshall’s rally from 17 points down in the second half of an 80-73 win over Louisiana Tech at the Thomas Assembly Center in Ruston, Louisiana.
Not only did the win come after being down 17, it came against a team who has had unparalleled success at home in league play.
“They are 33-3 at home recently, and two of those losses have come to us,” Marshall head coach Dan D’Antoni said. “When you’re down 17, that’s tough, but it makes you so proud of the kids.”
West’s shot was one of several key contributions the Herd got on Saturday night in the comeback.
Taevion Kinsey led the Herd with 20 points while Mikel Beyers added 17 in the win, including 11 straight for the Herd in a key stretch.
Andrew Taylor joined West with 13 points and fell just one assist shy of a triple-double, finishing with 10 rebounds and nine assists in the win.
“Andrew and Jarrod and Taevion — those are three that are as good as you’re going to get,” D’Antoni said. “They are tough and they just stay the course.”
The comeback was part of an impressive win over Louisiana Tech, who was 56-7 all-time at the Thomas Assembly Center in C-USA play coming into the evening.
After a tough first half, Marshall turned it around on both ends over the last 15 minutes of play. In the second half, the Herd shot 63 percent from the floor while limiting Louisiana Tech to a 34 percent shooting percentage.
The Bulldogs were just 4 of 19 from 3-point range in the loss.
Louisiana Tech looked well on its way to another dominant home victory, leading by as many as 17 in the second half, but Goran Miladinovic and Beyers each traded surges to help the Herd get back into the game.
Miladinovic scored all 10 of his points during an early second-half stretch as the Herd offense found its rhythm after an abysmal first half performance.
“I thought Goran gave us some really good minutes in the post,” D’Antoni said.
Later, Beyers scored 11 straight, including a pair of 3-pointers to help the Herd cut the gap.
Taylor then hit Kinsey on a cut into the middle of the lane for a lay-in plus the foul to give the Herd a 62-60 lead — its first since the opening minutes of the game.
It was part of a 13-2 run that helped the Herd tilt the game in its favor.
“We just started making shots and everything opened up,” D’Antoni said.
Early on, it appeared the Herd would be blown out in its second game in Ruston in two days.
Marshall again struggled offensively in the first half as Louisiana Tech took a 40-27 lead to the locker room.
The Herd played a large chunk of the half without West, who picked up his second foul on a charge just five minutes in and was forced to the bench.
Marshall went nearly seven minutes without a basket before West returned to the game and knocked down a 3-pointer to end the drought.
West later hit a 3-pointer that pulled Marshall within 31-25 with 2:55 left, but the Bulldogs went on a 7-0 run to push the lead back to 13 at the break.
Isaiah Crawford led the Bulldogs with 18 points while Cobe Williams added 17. Amorie Archibald also had 11 while Kalob Ledoux — the Bulldogs’ leading scorer — again fell below his average with 10 points.
Marshall returns to Cam Henderson Center for its first conference home game of the season at 6 p.m. on Friday when the Herd meets Charlotte, who knocked off Western Kentucky in overtime on Saturday afternoon.