Marshall teams sweep past UTSA


SAN ANTONIO – Marshall men’s basketball sunk 18 3-pointers, one shy of the program record, in a 109-91 win at UTSA on Saturday at the Convocation Center.

With the wire-to-wire win, the Herd snapped a two-game losing streak and improved to 12-12, 8-3 in Conference USA. For the second consecutive game, Marshall reached the century mark in regulation time. The last time the Herd posted 100 or more points in regulation in back-to-back games against Division-I opponents was during the 1988-89 season. The Roadrunners fell to 4-20, 2-9.

The Herd scored 18 or more threes for just the third time in school history, on 52.9 percent shooting from distance (18-of-34). Sophomore Jon Elmore (Charleston, W.Va.) had a career-high seven triples on 7-of-12 shooting from the field. Each of his attempts on the day were from long range. He added two free throws for a team-high 23 points, and dished out eight assists.

Other double-figure scorers were senior James Kelly (Ann Arbor, Mich.) with 22 points, Austin Loop (South Webster, Ohio) with 17 and Ryan Taylor (Indianapolis) with 10. Junior Stevie Browning (Logan, W.Va.), a 6-foot-3 guard, threw down three dunks while posting nine points and a career-high nine assists.

Marshall raced out to a 7-0 lead at 16:23, holding the Roadrunners to 0-of-8 shooting to start the game. UTSA’s first field goal came at 15:06 (7-3). The Herd reached its first double-figure lead at 14:03, up 15-5, after a Browning layup. Marshall’s largest lead of the half (17) came at the 6:58 mark after Kelly’s third 3-pointer, making it 38-21. However, the Roadrunners used a 15-3 run over the next 3:57 to cut the Herd’s lead to five (41-36) with 2:32 to play before the break. Marshall outscored UTSA 11-4 to end the half with a 52-40 advantage.

For the remainder of the game, the Herd kept a lead of 10 or more points, and reached a largest margin of 22 with 2:23 remaining in the contest after a 3-pointer by freshman Jacob Kilgore (Huntington, W.Va.).

The Herd had assists on 30 of its 36 made field goals, most against a Division I opponent since Dec. 17, 1977 against Davidson (30). Marshall had its second-best outing from the field, shooting 55.4 percent (36-of-65), and out-rebounded the Roadrunners 42-37.

UP NEXT

The Herd will meet the WKU Hilltoppers for the second time this season, this time in Bowling Green, Ky., on Saturday, Feb. 13, at 8 p.m. ET. Marshall opened the C-USA season with a 94-76 win over WKU in Huntington on Jan. 3. For the latest information about Marshall men’s basketball, follow @HerdMBB on Twitter.

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MEN

UTEP 112,

Marshall 108

EL PASO, Texas – It was one for the record books as Marshall men’s basketball dropped a wild western shootout at UTEP last Thursday night, 112-108, at Don Haskins Center.

Despite five double-figure scorers in the book for the Thundering Herd (11-12, 7-3), Marshall dropped its second consecutive Conference USA game. The Miners snapped a three-game losing streak, improving to 12-11, 4-6 in C- USA. The 220 combined points were the most in a regulation game for the Herd since a 125-104 loss against Western Carolina on Feb. 6, 1996.

Senior forward James Kelly (Ann Arbor, Mich.), led a trio of 20-point scorers for Marshall, contributing 26. Jon Elmore (Charleston, W.Va.) had 21, and Ryan Taylor (Indianapolis) had 20. Redshirt freshman C.J. Burks (Martinsburg, W.Va.) had 16 points off the bench and Stevie Browning (Logan, W.Va.) had 11 points to round out the double-digit scorers.

UTEP finished with a blistering 56.1 percent mark from the field (37-of-66), compared to the Herd’s 53.5 percent (38-of-71). The Miners shot 61.1 percent from 3-point range (11-of-18), while the Herd missed just four free throws on the night (84.0 percent, 21-of-25). Marshall had the slight edge in rebounding, 36-35.

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WOMEN

Marshall 80,

UTSA 76

HUNTINGTON — The Marshall women’s basketball team shot 59.6 percent from the field against a stingy UTSA defense and was perfect (18-for-18) from the free throw line to emerge with an 80-76 victory over the Roadrunners Saturday afternoon at the Henderson Center.

The Thundering Herd improved to 16-6 overall and 6-5 in Conference USA, while UTSA dropped to 7-14 and 3-8 in the league.

The Roadrunners came into the game leading Conference USA in field goal percentage defense at 36.8 percent.

Marshall was led by Norrisha Victrum’s season-high 19 points on 8-for-14 shooting to go with three assists. Talequia Hamilton made five of her six shots for 14 points and Chelsey Romero and Kiana Evans each chipped in 10. Leah Scott led the team in rebounds (six) and assists (four) and Khadaijia Brooks posted a season-high three steals.

UTSA got an incredible effort from Kasia Kiejdrowski (29 points on 10-for-20 from the field and 6-for-12 from long range), while Crystal Chidomere had 14 and Akunna Elonu notched 13 (6-for-10 shooting) and eight rebounds. Alana Heard had four steals.

“We knew the game was going to be ugly,” Marshall coach Matt Daniel said. “We didn’t come out ready to play and it hurt us. When our energy is good, we’re as productive as anyone, but we didn’t have much of that energy today.”

UTSA jumped out to an early 8-0 lead but Marshall clawed back and tied the game at 15 before the first quarter was complete.

The second period was a seesaw affair until the Thundering Herd took the lead for good on a Victrum layup with 5:13 left in the third period to give the home team a 45-44 lead.

The lead grew to 12 (67-55) on a Hamilton 3-pointer from the right wing just 12 seconds into the fourth quarter but the Roadrunners trimmed the edge back to two (78-76) on an Elonu layup with 2:10 to go.

After a Marshall miss, Chidomere had game-tying layups blocked by Evans and Scott before Gore salted away the win with a pair of free throws with two seconds left. Those shots capped off a 7-for-7 day at the charity stripe for the Logan native.

Marshall had 44 points in the paint to UTSA’s 30, but the Roadrunners held the edge in second chance points (22-6), due in large part to their 19-6 advantage on the offensive glass.

UTSA shot an impressive 9-for-18 (50 percent) from 3-point range, but struggled to a 9-for-15 clip (60 percent) from the free throw line.

The last time Marshall went perfect at the charity stripe was March 5, 2009 in a 76-57 win over Memphis in another 18-for-18 effort.

The game featured 11 lead changes.

“We’ve won four of our last five, we’re in the top half of C-USA, and our grades are great,” Daniel said. “We’re in a pretty good situation.”

The Thundering Herd will be back in action next Sunday when Western Kentucky (18-4, 9-2) comes calling for a 1 p.m. tip after falling to UTEP 85-78 Saturday in Conference USA’s battle for first place. The Marshall-WKU game will be televised on the American Sports Network and locally on WVAH digital channel 11.2 (Suddenlink 125, Comcast 133, Time Warner Ashland/Ironton/Portsmouth 305 and Armstrong 94).

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WOMEN

Marshall 79,

UTEP 64

HUNTINGTON — Marshall senior Leah Scott tied a career-high with 26 points in a double-double effort that included 11 rebounds to lead the Thundering Herd women’s basketball team to a convincing 79-64 win over Conference USA leader UTEP last Thursday evening in the Henderson Center.

Marshall improved to 15-6 overall with the win and evened its league mark at 5-5, while the Miners, who came into the game receiving 29 points in the latest Associated Press Top 25 poll, fell to 18-2 and 9-1 in the league.

The Thundering Herd’s Talequia Hamilton made six of her eight field goal attempts in a 15-point effort with three blocked shots, a number that was matched by Chelsey Romero. Shayna Gore added 14 points and a game-high six assists and Kiana Evans notched 12 points off the bench, making six of her 10 field goal attempts.

UTEP was led by Sparkle Taylor’s 17 points (8-for-16 FGs) off the bench. Jenzel Nash ended up with a double-double (14 points, 12 rebounds) to go with four steals and Lulu McKinney also had 10 points. Starr Breedlove had four assists and four steals but she and Nash were limited to an 8-for-36 shooting day (1-for-13 on 3-pointers) by the Thundering Herd defense.

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