Coming into Friday, Marshall had won its first three games by an average of 20 points per game, but the challenge that now stood in front of them was preseason All-American Montrezl Harrell and the No. 7-ranked team in the country, Louisville.
Marshall head coach Dan D'Antoni , Mike D'Antoni's brother, stated before the game that he wanted to see his team "impose" their style of play by keeping the tempo up and attacking the basket.
Out of the gate, the Herd did manage to take it to the Cardinals going on a 7-2 run led by sophomore forward Ryan Taylor, Marshall's leading scorer, who scored five of those first point. But the game after a Rick Pitino timeout, Louisville answered with an run of their own to quickly rein in the Thundering Herd.
The game remained neck and neck halfway through the half but then the wheels began to slowly fall off.
Louisville, still struggling from the field, turned up pressure defensively. Over the next 25 possessions, Marshall committed 10 turnovers and went 4-for-19 from the floor , allowing Louisville to go on a 26-9 run to finish the half leading 41-27.
Despite Marshall's success holding Montrezl Harrell to six points in the opening half, the Cardinals pounded the Herd in the paint with a 28-14 advantage. Senior Wayne Blackshear led Louisville on both ends of the floor by not only leading all scorers with 12 points, but also grabbing three steals and two blocks. Marshall's Ryan Taylor had a stellar first half as well with nine points, eight rebounds, and four assists.
In the second half, the Louisville Cardinals cruised to victory as Marshall was unable to find that same hot start as they had out of the gate. The Thundering Herd committed 21 turnovers and finished shooting just 36.5 percent from the floor. Marshall managed to get within 13 with a little more than five minutes remaining in the game, but Louisville was decent enough from the line to grab the win, 85-67.
Taylor, despite shooting 2-for-14 from the field and missing his last 11 attempts, had a monster game with 15 points, 18 rebounds, and eight assists. Senior Shawn Smith tossed in 16 and Senegal-import Cheikh Sane added 10 points and five rebounds.
The Cardinals had five players in double figures lead by their sensational backcourt, Terry Rozier and Chris Jones, who combined for 35 points. Freshman big man Chinanu Onuaku had his first career double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds. Blackshear ended the game with a season-high 16 points and four steals.
Marshall returns home for four straight games starting with Morehead Stat while Louisville head home for two games before a showdown with Ohio State.