Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local Sports

December 23, 2012

KYLE HOBSTETTER: Good game for area, schools

LEXINGTON — The final score had a 28-point difference. It had a blowout and two teams seeming to head towards different paths.

But in the end, this game was good for Kentucky and Marshall.

Now you may be asking — “How does an 82-54 blowout benefit either team?”

Let Kentucky coach John Calipari answer that from the Wildcat standpoint.

“We needed a game like this,” Calipari said. “The thing I like about Marshall, was they were a very physical, bump-and-grind team...We needed a like this and we needed (Marshall) to play that way.

“We got better.”

Kentucky got a good, physical win before heading to archrival Louisville on Saturday.

Well, sort of.

“No just for us,” Calipari said before asking who Kentucky plays next week. “Oh, we’re playing Louisville. Oh that’s a tough game. This was just for us.”

For Marshall, and its 28-point loss, it could be hard-pressed to find a bright spot.

Probably the worst part is it’s Marshall’s largest loss in coach Tom Herrion’s tenture .

A bright spot is that plenty of green-wearing Herd fans were in the attendance of 24,271, the largest to see a Marshall basketball game.

But the biggest bright spot for in Herrion’s eyes is his team’s work ethic. 

“We’ll bounce back,” Herrion said. “We got guys that work, that is what I’m not worried about.”

This is the lowest point total Marshall has been held to all season, the previous low of 56 coming on Dec. 15 to No. 11 Cincinnati.

But the season is not over yet for the Herd in the mind of Herrion, who said to reporters the players will in the gym as much they can in the next week.

The biggest vote of confidence in the Herd comes from the opposing bench and Calipari.

“Marshall is going to be fine,” Calipari said. “When they get in Conference USA, they’ll win their share of games. They’ll be one of those teams playing for that NCAA bid.”

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