Rivalry games tend to bring an added excitement and energy to a game. Duke versus North Carolina, USC versus UCLA and Louisville versus Kentucky games always have high entertainment value, have meaning to players, fans and coaches alike. Who knew that the West Virginia versus Marshall basketball game had so much tension it would lead to five players being ejected?
“The Friends of Coal” match-up featuring the Mountaineers against the Thundering Herd is not what anyone would call a nationally renowned rivalry but it does mean something to the people of the state of West Virginia.
As the states only two Division 1 NCAA tams each game brings bragging rights. West Virginia is the “big brother” in the basketball head to heads last night won for the sixth time in the last seven meetings and improved to 30-11 all-time in the series. Apparently the Marshall players are sick of being pushed around and last night decided to get ugly as they tried to fight back.
The bad blood between the rivals heated up late in the game. Players from both teams had to be separated with 1:39 left after the Herd’s Robert Goff delivered a kick to Mountaineer’s Juwan Staten‘s crotch. A physical play under the basket had left several players either unbalanced or on the floor and as Staten tried to step over Goff and return to the other end of the floor Goff, lying on the floor, kicked out hitting Staten.
Goff was ejected, as were four West Virginia players who left the bench: Aaric Murray, Terry Henderson, Jabarie Hinds and Eron Harris. One player for each team also was assessed a technical foul, and two more technicals were called in the final minute. West Virginia ended up with a ten point win, 69-59, and with another reason to make sure they continue to dominate Marshall on the court.