Marshall sweeps series with No. 24 Middle Tennessee
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (AP) — Jon Elmore scored 23 points and Marshall swept two games from No. 24 Middle Tennessee with a 76-67 win on Saturday night.
The Thundering Herd (21-10, 12-6 Conference USA) was the only C-USA team to beat the Blue Raiders (24-6, 16-2) this season as they ended Middle’s 11-game winning streak.
Marshall redshirt freshman Jannson Williams came off the bench to record a double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds.
The Blue Raiders won their first two games since earning the first national ranking in school history by double-digit margins, but trailed for much of the night against the Herd.
Middle led 57-56 with 8:28 left before Marshall rallied for the road win.
Marshall also beat Middle 73-63 on Jan. 18 right before the Blue Raiders started their winning streak.
C.J. Burks scored 20 points and Marshall’s bench outscored Middle 26-9.
Brandon Walters led the Blue Raiders with 20 points and Nick King added 18.
Middle struggled at the foul line, missing 13 of 26. King, a 73 percent foul shooter, missed his first three free throws and went 3 for 11.
Marshall hit 22 of 27 foul shots to win its first game in seven tries at the Murphy Center.
Giddy Potts scored 11 for the Blue Raiders, who clinched the C-USA regular-season title Thursday night.
Dominating the defensive boards and shooting 52 percent from the field, Marshall took a 36-33 halftime lead.
The Thundering Herd’s bench outscored the Blue Raiders 16-3 during the first 20 minutes.
Marshall: The Thundering Herd played its two best defensive games in wins over Middle.
Middle Tennessee: The Blue Raiders’ guards struggled in two losses to the Herd.
Marshall advances to the C-USA Tournament that begins Wednesday in Frisco, Texas.
Middle Tennessee earned a first-round bye as the top seed in the C-USA Tournament and will play in Thursday’s quarterfinals.