HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – For the second consecutive game, redshirt freshman guard C.J. Burks (Martinsburg, W.Va.) led the Marshall men’s basketball team (0-3) with a career-high 17 points in an 89-75 home loss against James Madison (4-3) on Friday evening at Cam Henderson Center.
Burks, who recorded five points in the first half, went on to record 12 in the second for his career-best performance. Burks finished the contest shooting 5-of-10 from the field and 4-of-7 from behind the arc. Following Burks in double digits were Stevie Browning (Logan, W.Va.) and Ryan Taylor (Indianapolis, Ind.) with 16 apiece, and James Kelly (Ann Arbor, Mich.) with 14. Kelly led the Herd with seven rebounds and Browning had a team-high six assists.
Shooting woes plagued the Herd in the first half, as it shot 7-of-26 (26.9 percent), while James Madison shot 18-36 (50.0 percent). After JMU jumped out to an early four-point lead to begin the first half, Marshall’s Taylor halted the run for a moment with a three-pointer. The Dukes went on to respond with nine straight points. From there, Marshall had to play catch-up in the half, which they were able to cut the deficit to eight points (22-14) at 10:44 mark with a 3-pointer from Burks. The Dukes closed out the half on a 24-9 run to take a 46-23 lead into halftime.
At the 13:08 mark of the second half, James Madison pushed its lead to its largest margin of the night, up 28 points (59-31), but Marshall responded quickly and began to chip away at the lead. The Herd eventually cut their deficit by nearly half, as it scored four 3-pointers, which came from Burks, freshmen Noah Frampton (Poca, W.Va.) and Aleksandar Dozic (Podgorica, Montenegro). The 15-2 run forced a JMU timeout at the 9:40 mark, as the Dukes led 61-46.
Marshall kept the pressure on James Madison by cutting the lead to 11 (68-57) at the 5:45 mark in the second half off a 3-point shot from Browning.
At the 1:10 mark, the Herd reached within 10 points of the Dukes, down 81-71 after Browning’s second three. Marshall made two layups in the final 15 seconds of regulation, but ultimately, free throw shooting down the stretch gave JMU a final margin of 89-75.
The Dukes had a hefty advantage in rebounding, 52-33, while Yohanny Dalembert and Shakir Bron had 15 and 14 boards, respectively. Brown led the team with 25 points on 8-of-12 from shooting from the field.
The Herd will hit the road once again, as it travels to Ohio to face the Bobcats on Tuesday, Dec. 1 at 7 p.m. in Athens, Ohio. For all the latest information about Marshall men’s basketball, follow @HerdMBB on Twitter.