Kicking their defense into high gear in the second half, the Marshall boys' basketball team turned a four-point halftime lead over Southwest Conference rival Worthington into a runaway 76-45 victory Friday night in Worthington.
The Tigers (2-1 overall, 2-0 SWC) trailed most of the first half before Derek Buysse hit a couple of late 3s to help put Marshall up 34-30 at the break. Marshall shut down the Trojans (2-2, 1-2) in the second half, holding them to just 15 points. The Tigers forced Worthington into 29 turnovers in the game.
"Our guys came out and got some stops right away, which led to some easy looks on the other end," Marshall head coach Travis Carroll said of his team's run to start the second half. "But most importantly, we limited them to just one shot per possession, rather than giving them second or third chances."
Carroll said the Tigers gave up some height to the Trojans in Friday's matchup. Worthington's 6-foot-6 center Morgan Traylor finished with a game-high 20 points, but Marshall did a good job of hustling on the boards and held a 30-25 rebounding edge by the end of the game.
"We talked about the importance of rebounding going into the game," Carroll said. "They had a size advantage, and Traylor is a very physical, very athletic kid and our guys worked very hard against him. He got a lot of good looks early on, but we did a good job of getting the ball out of his hands and limiting his effectiveness as the game went on."
While Traylor and Will Dudley (11 points) were the only two players to score more than four points for the Trojans, the Tigers had a much more balanced effort offensively. Senior guard Austin Saugstad led Marshall with 17 points to go with four rebounds and six steals, while Buysse and Riley Sharbono each scored 16 points.
Aaron Mathiowetz 2 0-0 4, Bryce Johnson 0 0-1 0, Hunter Peterson 4 1-1 11, Austin Saugstad 7 3-7 17, Derek Buysse 6 2-2 16, Riley Sharbono 6 4-6 16, Tanner Bukowski 3 2-2 9, Adam Kovash 0 1-2 1, Spencer Petrich 1 0-0 2. Totals 29 13-21 76. 3-pointers 5 (Buysse 2, Peterson 2) Rebounds 30 (Saugstad 4, Buysse 4, Sharbono 4) Assists 14 (Peterson 3, Bukowski 3) Steals 21 (Saugstad 6, Bukowski 6, Mathiowetz 4) Blocks 0 Turnovers 21 Total Fouls 21.
Josh Vander Vern 1 0-0 3, Will Dudley 5 1-3 11, Marcus Potter 1 2-2 4, Dylan Gravenhof 1 1-2 3, Morgan Traylor 9 2-3 20, Spencer Grafing 1 1-1 3, Randy Traylor 0 1-2 1. Totals 18 8-13 45. 3-pointers 1 Rebounds 25 (M. Traylor 7) Assists 12 (Potter 6) Steals 7 (M. Traylor 3) Blocks 0 Turnovers 29 Total Fouls 19.
Halftime Score: Marshall 34, Worthington 30.
Hunter Peterson was the fourth Tiger to reach double figures in scoring. He put up 11 points and had three assists. Tanner Bukowski added nine points and also had six steals.
The Tigers shot 54.7 percent from the field for the game. Worthington shot 52 percent for the first half, but was limited to just 26.4 percent shooting in the second half.
Marshall continues Southwest Conference play on Tuesday with a road game against Jackson County Central. Worthington will try to bounce back on Thursday with a conference game at Pipestone.