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Roadrunners outlast Herd, 116-106

February 3, 2019
Marshall's C.J. Burks drives to the rim against UTSA's Keaton Wallace during a Conference USA men's basketball game Saturday at the Cam Henderson Center. FOR MORE PHOTOS, VISIT WWW.HERALD-DISPATCH.COM.

HUNTINGTON — UTSA couldn’t be stopped.

UTSA used a 45-point performance from sophomore guard Keaton Wallace to dump the Marshall Thundering Herd, 116-106, in an overtime Conference USA men’s basketball game Saturday night with an announced crowd of 7,182 spectators watching in Cam Henderson Center.

The big game by Wallace followed by just two days a 46-point game by his backcourt classmate, Jhivvan Jackson, when the Roadrunners (13-10, 7-3 C-USA) fell in overtime at Western Kentucky.

Wallace also pulled down seven rebounds and made three steals while Jackson had nine rebounds to help offset his eight turnovers. Atem Bior, a 6-foot-7 junior forward was big off the UTSA bench with 12 points and 12 rebounds. Nick Allen netted 13 points and the 6-8 senior finished with five rebounds before fouling out at 8:07 of the second half.

UTSA didn’t stop Marshall (13-10, 6-4) much either.

Senior guards C.J. Burks and Jon Elmore led Marshall with 31 and 29 points respectively. Marshall senior guard Rondale Watson came from off the bench to score 19 and freshman guard Taevion Kinsey netted 15 points.

“A game of made shots,” Marshall head coach Dan D’Antoni said. “They made the big ones and we didn’t.”

Marshall missed an opening to win in regulation after Elmore was fouled while making a 3-point shot and sank the free throw for a 92-92 tie with just 4.4 seconds remaining.

The Roadrunners made three attempts to put the basketball in play for the final shot against Marshall’s full-court pressure. On the third try junior guard Giovanni De Nicolao’s feed went off Jackson’s hands out of bounds, giving the Herd possession with 3.2 seconds left.

Elmore completed his inbounds pass to Watson and he missed a good look at the basket with one second to go.

“We didn’t make some plays at the end of regulation which was disappointing, then in overtime we did,” UTSA head coach Steve Henson said. “I was pretty sick, to be honest, at the end of regulation.”

Consecutive baskets by Elmore put Marshall on top 96-95 with 4:10 left in the five-minute extra period, but it was all UTSA after that.

Keaton went to the basket for a layup to regain the lead, Jackson nailed a 3-point shot and Byron Frohnen sank a pair of foul shots that put the Roadrunners ahead 104-98 with 2:11 left. Burks grabbed an offensive rebound and scored to get the Herd within 106-102 at 1:35, but Keaton hit another 3-pointer and the Roadrunners finished the night with five free throws in the final 38 seconds.

UTSA outscored Marshall in overtime 24-14.

“They made their shots down the stretch and we didn’t,” Elmore said.

Both teams had good shooting percentages — UTSA 55.2 and Marshall 50.6. The Roadrunners were 10 for 23 on 3-point shots and the Herd made 12 of 37.

Marshall had three more field goals, 42 to 39, but free throw shooting created a difference. UTSA’s free throw shooters connected on 28 of 35. Marshall free throw shooters were 9 for 15.

Herd sophomore forward Mikel Beyers fouled out with 12:23 left in the second half followed by Watson and Burks being disqualified in overtime.

The Herd lost another player when sophomore forward Jannson Williams injured his right leg early in the second half. Williams returned to the court, but ended the game with two points and three rebounds in 18 minutes.

Old Dominion held first place in C-USA at 8-3 with its 80-76 win at home against Rice. North Texas (7-3) survived a scare at Charlotte, 73-66, and UTSA won at Marshall to go 7-3. UAB lost at home against Middle Tennessee, 79-78, and Western Kentucky got a home win against UTEP, 76-59, that left Marshall, the Blazers and the Hilltoppers tied for third place at 6-4.

Marshall will attempt to get back in the win column in an 8 p.m. Thursday game at North Texas, which is 19-4 overall.

Next game

MARSHALL (13-10, 6-4) at NORTH TEXAS (19-4, 7-3)

When: 8 p.m. Thursday

Where: The Super Pit, Denton, Texas

TV: beIN Sports

Radio: WDGG 93.7-FM, ESPN 94.1-FM and 930-AM

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