The Rock Bridge basketball team showed there is strength in numbers Monday night.
The Bruins defeated Marshall 79-33 at Rock Bridge, replacing the starters with a younger lineup in the second half.
Ten Bruins scored in the rout, led by sophomore Logan Gray’s 15 points off the bench.
Gray provided a boost for the Bruins (5-1), coming in with less than 3 minutes left in the first quarter, scoring on his first offensive possession to extend the lead to 13-6.
Coach Jim Scanlon has stressed that there isn’t a lot of difference between his starters and bench players, and said he likes using Gray off the bench.
“He gives us some energy and he can play a lot of positions,” Scanlon said. “He just kind of ignites us.”
Gray said that coming off the bench is a bit of an advantage because he gets to come in fresh against players that are tiring.
The first half was full of turnovers and fouls from both teams, but the Bruins’ defense kept the Owls from getting any closer than 21-17 with 5 minutes left in the second quarter.
After Scanlon called a timeout, the Bruins went on a 17-3 run, extending the lead to 38-20.
Marshall (4-3) rebounded from the drought, and cut the lead to 12 at halftime.
Marshall coach Scott Harrold said he thought his team had momentum going into the second half after the late surge.
That feeling didn’t last long.
The Bruins squashed Marshall’s momentum with a 10-2 run in the first two minutes of the second half, forcing a Marshall timeout.
“We just came out in the third quarter and it’s kind of like a bunch of sharks, they smelled blood in the water,” Harrold said. “They jumped on us and they didn’t let us up.”
Scanlon, disappointed that his older players let the Owls back in the game, decided to go with a younger lineup to start the second half.
Freshman Mike Petrick played point guard, with sophomores Erik Darkow, Gray and Isaiah Warren and junior John Stull filling the lineup.
The group showed more energy than the starters, outscoring the Owls 28-4 in the third quarter.
“Coach Scanlon’s team, they’re deep enough they can do that,” Harrold said. “He can go in there and tell kids ‘you’re not playing as well as we want you to in the first half so we’re going to sit you down’, and that’s the luxury he has … It didn’t seem to matter to us who was in there, we were having trouble with whatever group was in there.”
Harrold said the Bruins defense is successful in shutting down teams because they have the quickness to pressure on the perimeter and the size to intimidate anyone that comes in.
The Bruins forced 20 steals against the Owls and have outscored opponents 130-64 the past two games.