Marshall brought energy to beat W&M, 84-64
HUNTINGTON -- Marshall’s Thundering Herd played with renewed energy on defense Wednesday night against the College of William & Mary after taking a 37-point defeat last week at the University of Maryland.
Marshall (5-1) held the Tribe (2-5) to 27 points in the second half of an 84-64 victory played before 6,187 spectators in Cam Henderson Center. It was Herd’s fourth 20-point win this season, and a night when Jon Elmore became the third player in Marshall history to score 2,000 points, but the senior point guard reserved praise for the defensive performance.
“Our energy tonight was phenomenal,” Elmore said. “I felt like at Maryland at the walk-through we looked terrible. In the warm-up we looked terrible, In the game we looked worse than terrible. Tonight, we came out focused in the walk-through and then we had the best pregame warm-up we’ve had all year.
“From the jump we brought energy. In the first half they got a few easy buckets, but we gave up 27 points in the second half. That’s pretty good wherever you are.”
Elmore’s 26 points put him in the Herd 2,000-point club behind only Skip Henderson (1984-88) with 2,574) and John Taft (1987-91) with 2,332). Elmore bounced back from a six-point effort at Maryland when his average dipped to 19.6 with 7-for-16 shooting from the field, 4-for-8 accuracy on 3-point field goal attempts and 8-for-9 free throw shooting. He also had five rebounds five assists and two steals.
He gave credit to hard work, time in the gym, coaching and having great teammates who made his accomplishments possible.
Senior guard C.J. Burks, averaging 18.8 points a game, missed his first two shots and had zero points at halftime when Marshall was ahead, 46-37. Burks got going in the second period when he connected on six of 11 shots and scored 16.
“In the first half (Burks) was flying around, but didn’t land anywhere,” Marshall head coach Dan D’Antoni said. “C.J. is a tough nut. You’re not going to keep him down very long.”
Rondale Watson, another senior guard, came off the Marshall bench to score 12 and snag seven rebounds. Sophomore guard Jarrod West tacked on 11 points.
“I think the big difference in the ball game was the two guards,” William & Mary head coach Tony Shaver said. “Elmore is one of the best in the country. Elmore and Burks are really good.”
The Tribe shot well early and held a 35-31 lead on 6-foot-10 junior Nathan Knight’s dunk with 5:02 left in the opening half.
Marshall’s Darius George tied the teams with a baseline move for two points then slammed Elmore’s lob feed for two more that put the Herd up, 37-35, with 3:17 left in the first half. Elmore converted a steal with a 3-point shot with four seconds to go created the nine-point halftime bulge.
Matt Milon’s layup to begin the second half put the Tribe as close as seven, but that was as close as they got.
Thornton Scott’s layup kept William & Mary within 56-46 with 12:18 remaining and the Tribe made nine straight defensive stops, but had nothing to show for them.
“They outworked us,” Shaver said. “We didn’t get any 50-50 balls.”
William & Mary’s Paul Rowley, a 6-8 senior scored 12 and Milon netted 11. Justin Pierce, a 6-7 junior averaging 21.8 points and 11.5 rebounds, finished with eight points and seven rebounds. Knight, who was scoring 19.3 per game, had eight points, nine rebounds and five assists.
Marshall resumes a long rivalry with Ohio University (4-2) in a 3:30 p.m. Saturday game at the Convocation Center in Athens, Ohio.
Ohio won at home Tuesday against Iona (89-65) and Saturday against Austin Peay (85-82 OT) after losing two games Nov. 16 and 18 at the Jersey Mike’s Jamaica Classic (South Florida, 73-46, and Loyola Marymount, 65-56).
Jason Carter is a 6-8 sophomore leading the Bobcats with 18.7 points and 7.3 rebounds a game. Teyvion Kirk (6-4 sophomore) scores 16.2 a game and 6-8 redshirt freshman Ben Vander Plas averages 11.5 points and 6.5 rebounds.
The Saturday men’s game is the second part of a doubleheader with the Ohio women’s team playing Cleveland State at 1 p.m.