CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- IF NOTHING else, Marshall's 74-64 loss Saturday to West Virginia confirmed one thing: TyQuane Goard is the best center on the Thundering Herd team.
A 6-foot-7, 215-pound "five" man qualifies as a dominating monster in Division II, but usually gets banged around by taller, beefier sharks in D-I. But Goard, the George Washington High grad who spent a year at Ohio, started as a power forward Saturday but played much of his 25 minutes underneath.
Slugging it out with bigger men such as 6-foot-10 Kevin Noreen, 6-9 Brandon Watkins and 6-9 Devin Williams, Goard finished with 11 points and seven rebounds - five on the offensive side. The Herd had a season-high 19 offensive rebounds, which I'm sure nearly made WVU coach Bob Huggins' head explode.
"It's not really tough," Goard said. "I mean, I'm used to it. I'm physical, I'm not really worried about that. That's about it, really."
Granted, it didn't all go well for Goard and the Herd, as WVU's game-ending 16-2 run illustrates. In that fateful final 4:57, Goard didn't have a rebound, missed one of two free throws and fouled out with 52 seconds left.
He blocked a Juwan Staten layup, but Remi Dibo picked up the rebound and scored to give WVU a 65-62 with 2:56 left. A few minutes earlier, he picked up his fourth foul while battling Dibo at WVU's end.
Marshall was up 56-53 at the time, the 6:44 mark. For Goard, that was a haunting moment.
"I feel like I missed a rebound," he said. "I think Dibo actually got the rebound and got two points. I feel like that should have been my box-out. I feel like I missed that and that's where it started going downhill."
As the 4-6 Herd gathers itself for Tuesday's home game against Alice Lloyd College of Pippa Passes, Ky., Goard may become the most used man at the "five."
Cheikh Sane had seven points and seven rebounds in 21 minutes, but went 1 of 5 from the line. The 6-9 junior-college product started the scoring Saturday with a sweet-looking hook shot in the lane, something he doesn't do enough of. With 3.5 points and 5.0 rebounds in 16.1 minutes per game, he remains a project.