Marshall hands Middle Tennessee first conference loss, 73-63
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (AP) — C.J. Burks made five 3-pointers and scored 25 points and Marshall beat Middle Tennessee 73-63 to hand the Blue Raiders their first conference loss on Thursday night.
Jon Elmore, Conference USA’s leading scorer at 22.7 per game coming in, added 19 points, eight assists and five steals and Ajdin Penava added 17 points, six blocks and a team-high seven rebounds. Burks and Elmore entered the game as the nation’s top scoring duo at 43.7 per game.
Giddy Potts and Antwain Johnson scored 15 points each and Nick King, the No. 2 scorer in C-USA at 21.8 before Thursday, finished with 14 points and nine rebounds for the Blue Raiders (13-5, 5-1), who had a five-game win streak end.
The win snapped a five-game losing streak to Middle Tennessee in the teams’ first meeting since the Blue Raiders defeated the Thundering Herd (13-6, 4-2) in last season’s conference title game.
Marshall led 36-34 at halftime, lost the lead briefly to start the second half then reclaimed it for good with a 12-2 run, including three 3-pointers by Burks. Two free throws by Elmore made it 67-56 with 2:19 to go and Middle Tennessee didn’t get closer than nine thereafter.