Marshall's next two opponents played each other twice in a four-day stretch over six time zones, and the results were eye-popping.
First, South Carolina and Akron dueled for third place Christmas Day in the Diamond Head Classic in Honolulu, and the Gamecocks outscored the Zips 44-28 in the second half.
On Saturday, the teams got together in a regularly scheduled game on Columbia, S.C., and the Gamecocks played even better in the second half. After runs of 17-1 and 11-0, the Zips went home a 78-45 loser.
Marshall (5-7) plays Akron on Thursday to ring in 2014. But today, the Thundering Herd must deal with the suddenly warm Gamecocks (5-6), 7 p.m. at Colonial Life Arena.
"We're getting them when they're playing their best basketball," said MU coach Tom Herrion." They were 2-1 in Hawaii, beat St. Mary's."
Several numbers stood out in the most recent game, but one may have loomed large over the others — Brenton Williams' six 3-point goals in nine attempts. That corresponds with Marshall's biggest faux pas in its last game, an 83-82 home loss to Arkansas State. The RedWolves sank five 3-pointers in the first 51/2 minutes to take a 19-5 lead.
For all of the Gamecocks' 3-point shooting in their last outing, that doesn't appear to be their strength. They hold a plus-3.6 advantage in rebounding, and are plus-26 on the offensive glass.
You may want to consider the team's second-year coach in that department.