Herd tops LA Tech, 90-79
RUSTON, La. — The last time Marshall’s basketball team played in Ruston, La., they weren’t able to find a way to finish a key road win.
Once given another opportunity, the Thundering Herd men weren’t squandering the chance.
Jon Elmore scored 34 points, including 10 straight for the Herd at an integral point of crunch time, as Marshall secured a 90-79 win and handed Louisiana Tech its first home loss of the season.
“It was just a phenomenal team win,” Elmore said following the win. “I think that was the best we’ve played all year.”
The Bulldogs were 15-0 at home coming into Thursday’s game.
It was vindication for Elmore, who was 2-of-12 from the floor and finished with only eight points in the Herd’s 89-80 overtime loss to the Bulldogs earlier this season.
With the game on the line, Elmore took over for Marshall (15-13, 8-7 C-USA).
Louisiana Tech used the hot shooting of DaQuan Bracey to cut a 16-point deficit to six points heading into the final media timeout.
However, Elmore went to work, going on a personal 10-3 run to push the lead back to 13 and give the Herd the big road win.
Marshall came into the contest off of a 12-day rest and it showed in the team’s legs as the energy level looked increased and shots were falling with regularity.
The Herd finished 16-of-32 from 3-point range in the win with contributions throughout the lineup.
In addition to Elmore’s big game, Jarrod West came up with several big shots for the Herd on Thursday night.
West finished with 15 points, including a 4-of-6 performance from 3-point range. His 3-pointer with 17:32 left in the game capped an 11-0 run for the Herd that extended the lead to its largest margin at 59-43.
“We had a lot of guys step up,” Elmore said. “Jarrod played phenomenal.”
Elmore later got a steal and layup after a Rondale Watson layup to match that margin, but Amorie Archibald answered with six points during a 9-2 run as the Bulldogs started to chip away at the lead.
After its near two-week layoff, Marshall’s legs were alive early as the Herd used one of its better offensive first halves to take a 48-41 lead into the locker room.
Elmore was the catalyst for the Herd in the first half, scoring 22 of his 34 points before halftime to propel the team to the lead.
Both teams were electric from the 3-point arc in the first half with Marshall going 10-of-20 from distance and Louisiana Tech finishing 7-of-14 in the opening 20 minutes. That momentum continued throughout the contest.
Just as Marshall was solid from the outside, so was Louisiana Tech (18-11, 7-8 C-USA), who finished 12-of-26 from the outside. Much of that damage was done by Bracey, who had six 3-pointers and finished with a team-high 26 points.
Louisiana Tech hit its first four 3-point attempts of the game in jumping out to a seven-point lead, but Marshall used a 14-2 run to take a 36-28 lead. Elmore accounted for six points during the run while Jarrod West added five, including a layup that forced the Bulldogs into a timeout.
From there, the Bulldogs steadied for a second, but Elmore scored eight points over the final 3:07 to propel the Herd to the halftime advantage.
For Marshall, Taveion Kinsey added 13 points off the bench, including eight straight in the second half, while Jannson Williams overcame an ankle injury suffered late in the first half to finish with 11 points and 10 rebounds.
Archibald had 18 points for the Bulldogs while Anthony Duruji and JaColby Pemberton added 12 and 10 respectively for the Bulldogs.