"I thought we really put emphasis on guarding the post," said MU coach Tom Herrion. "That set the tone and got the crowd in the game."
"I noticed," Spikes said. "The first block hyped everybody up. The second one got us rolling. We needed that."
It was a turnaround for MU. It was a turnaround for Spikes. The Herd was awful in the first half. The team shot 18.2 percent (2-of-11) from the free-throw line. It had nine turnovers. Spikes started - and played all of three minutes before collecting two fouls.
"I felt like I let my team down in the first half," Spikes said.
He made up for it.
Pena sat down for postgame interviews and looked at the stat sheet.
"How many blocks did [Spikes] have, three?" Pena asked incredulously. "That's wrong. He had five."
It might have felt like five. Because those three were Texas-sized. Marshall needed to win its third straight heading into the Memphis home game this Saturday.
"We all cry for attention and respect," Herrion said of that game. "Here it is. On national TV. This is our chance."
Spikes and his teammates helped set that up. By playing big. And making Texas toast.
Reach Mitch Vingle at 304-348-4827, mitchvin...@wvgazette.com or follow him at twitter.com/MitchVingle.