"Outstanding performance. Our kids are resilient, they've done a great job," Herrion said. "We made shots early, we were energized. Defense created offense for us, we were tremendous in the open court. Our sharing the ball was really good and we got back to being a physical team."
The Herd's assignment is to carry that over into tonight's game and fashion the team's first two-game winning streak since Dec. 1, the last of three wins in a row.
A reversal of the 75-61 loss Feb. 9 at UAB would be a bonus. In a season of wasted road trips, that game ranks right up there on the ugly scale - UAB led by 16 late in the first half and 22 midway through the second.
As Herrion tells it, the Herd was "stuck in the mud." The Blazers got all the 50-50 balls, dominated inside and hit 9 of 16 from 3-point range. They also scored 25 points off 17 MU turnovers.
Robert Williams, Preston Purifoy, Quincy Taylor and Jordan Swing all hit 3-pointers, but that was set up by strong inside play by 6-foot-5 forward Rod Rucker and 6-10 Fahro Alihodzic, both junior-college imports. Rucker scored 18 points and yanked down 10 rebounds.
"What's different [from a year ago] is they're getting mileage out of their two juco guys, front-court guys," Herrion said. "They're giving them great minutes up front. They shoot and stretch you at a lot of different positions, shoot a lot of 3s. It's a big weapon for them.
"Jerod's got them playing really hard. They outplayed us down at their place, there's no doubt about that."
The Blazers suffered a six-game losing streak in January, including the first five games in league play. Since then, they are 4-2, including an 80-57 win over Rice a week ago.
In that game, Swing pulled the double-double with 19 points and 10 rebounds. Purifoy hit 4 of 5 from 3-point range.
Reach Doug Smock at 304-348-5130, dougsm...@ wvgazette.com or follow him at twitter.com/dougsmock.