For the first time all season things aligned just right for the Marshall boys basketball team, and the end result was a convincing 76-35 win over rival Waterloo in a Capitol South Conference game played at Waterloo Fieldhouse Jan. 7.

The Cardinals (2-1 Cap. South) connected on 11 3-pointers and used stifling press to overwhelm the Pirates (0-2) in their conference opener.

“It was the first time all year where I felt like we really came ready to play, we played with energy, we played with some passion and our bench was into the game,” said Marshall head coach Dan Denniston.

Junior Craig Ward scored 18 of his game-high 23 points in the first half, leading three Cardinals in double figures. Juniors Reid Truschinski and Cole Denniston contributed 15 and 11 points, respectively.

Marshall built a commanding 40-15 halftime lead and never allowed Waterloo to get into an offensive flow.

Early in the first half a three-quarter-court press, forcing several Waterloo turnovers which ultimately fueled a 9-2 run giving the Cardinals a 16-6 advantage.

“We made that an emphasis for the past week of trying to get out and pushing the ball. The press allows us to get some steals and some defelections and it led to some transition baskets and we got some easy stuff because of it,” Denniston said. “The press definitely helped us.”

“A couple of times there were some turnovers caused by that, but when we did break it we were settling for the first open look instead of trying to get to the hoop or pull it out and run some half-court offense,” Waterloo head coach Trevor Deppe said.

That press, along with some prolific 3-point shooting, contributed to a 19-2 outburst, one that saw the Cardinals’ lead grow to 35-9. During that stretch the Pirates went ice cold from the field, being held without a field goal for 7 minutes 49 seconds before senior Caleb Hager’s layup at the 3:22 mark ended the drought.

Meanwhile, Ward and Denniston were raining 3s. The duo each made a pair of triples, while as a team Marshall made five 3-pointers in the game’s first 18 minutes.

“Craig shot the ball much better and Cole shot the ball the way he’s capable of; both of them have had a few games where the ball just hasn’t been going in the hole for them. I was happy to see them confidently step up and take good shots and they were going down,” said Denniston.

Also making 3-pointers for the Cardinals were Truschinski, juniors Luis Bello and Justin Grady, and two more by junior Mason Collins for a total of 11.

“When that’s happening, it makes us a better team,” said Dennison of his team’s 3-point shooting.

“We made a conscious effort to get out on those two (Ward and Denniston) for sure,” said Deppe. “We were hoping to have a game plan to have all five guys crashing the defensive boards; a couple of times they got some rebounds and kept their possession alive, and then they got it out and got some second-chance 3s; the next thing you know it’s a 12-point or 13-point game and they started to pull away.”

While no Waterloo player reached double digits, Hager led his team with nine points, junior Eugene Wolff scored seven, and seniors Blake Huebner and Jackson Christenson each tallied six.

MARSHALL 76, WATERLOO 35

Marshall 40 36 — 76

Waterloo 15 20 — 35

Marshall (fg ft-fta pts) — Siedschlag 1 0-0 2, Collins 2 0-0 8, Lutz 2 3-4 7, Ward 8 4-4 23, Hornby 1 0-0 2, Bello 1 0-0 3, Denniston 4 0-0 11, Grady 1 0-0 3, Petersen 1 0-0 2, Truschinski 4 6-8 15. Totals — 25 13-16 76.

Waterloo — Hager 3 2-4 9, Huebner 3 0-0 6, Unzueta 1 0-0 3, Wolff 2 3-7 7, Christenson 2 1-2 6, Wollin 1 0-0 2, Marshall 1 0-0 2. Totals 13 6-13 35.

3-point goals — M 11 (Collins 2, Ward 3, Bello 1, Denniston 3, Grady 1, Truchinski 1) ; W 3(Hager 1, Unzueta 1, Christiansen 1). Total fouls — M 12; W 15.

Columbus 64 Marshall 60

In one of the more tightly played games of the season Marshall was outscored 34-30 in the second half to suffer a four-point loss at Columbus Jan. 9.

Marshall (6-5) and Columbus were all knotted up at halftime each scoring 30 points.

Ward led the visiting Cardinals with 21 points, Truschinski scored 17 and Michael Lutz added 10 points before fouling out.

Mason Carthew led the host Cardinals with 20.

COLUMBUS 64, MARSHALL 60

Marshall 30 30 — 60

Columbus 30 34 — 64

Marshall (fg ft-fta pts) — Siedschlag 1 0-0 3, Lutz 4 0-0 10, Frank 0 1-2 1, Ward 6 8-10 21, Denniston 3 0-0 8, Truschinski 5 6-6 17. Totals — 19 15-18 60.

Columbus — Carthew 5 4-4 20, Uttech 0 2-2 2, Brunel 2 2-2 6, Cotter 5 4-7 14, Schroeder 1 0-0 2, Fritz 1 2-2 4, Selk 2 0-0 5. Totals — 19 18-21 64.

3-point goals — M 7 (Lutz 2, Denniston 2, Ward 1, Siedschlag 1, Truschinski 1); C 5 (Carthew 3, Brunel 1, Selk 1). Total fouls — M 19; C 16. Fouled out — Lutz.

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