MU to face Robert Morris or Presbyterian in CIT
HUNTINGTON — Either Robert Morris University or Presbyterian College will travel to play the Marshall Thundering Herd in a men’s basketball quarterfinal game of the CollegeInsider.com Tournament.
Presbyterian (19-15) from the Big South Conference visits Robert Morris (18-16) out of the Northeast Conference at 1 p.m. Sunday in a second-round matchup at the North Athletic Complex in Moon Township, Pennsylvania, near Pittsburgh International Airport. The winner gets Marshall (20-14) at 7 p.m. Tuesday in Cam Henderson Center.
Marshall had practice Friday and goes again Sunday and Monday. Assistant coaches Mark Cline and Scott Rigot have the scouting assignments for Presbyterian and Robert Morris respectively.
Head coach Dan D’Antoni said
it’s always more about what Marshall does than the opponent.
“If we come with energy, Jon (Elmore) and them are flowing, what are you going to do?” D’Antoni said. “They haven’t invented a new defense that I know of. It’s either a zone or man. We can play against either, it doesn’t matter.”
CIT first-round games continued Friday night with Drake University visiting Southern Utah University. The 13-game opening round concludes Saturday night when FIU plays at Texas State University.
Marshall is top-seeded in the tournament and dispatched IUPUI in the first round Tuesday, 78-73. Marshall will play all its games at home at a cost of $25,000 per contest.
The win against IUPUI (16-17) was an emotional affair for Elmore, a senior guard, who became the school’s all-time leader with 2,577 points, and for senior guard C.J. Burks, whose 1,827 points moved him to fifth place in Herd annals.
D’Antoni thinks the team will shake off the emotions and come out to play as hard as they can in the next game. He said they’re good kids who love to play and love to compete.
Robert Morris was at home for its first CIT game and defeated Cornell University, 98-89, in double overtime. Matty McConnell connected on a trio of 3-point shots on three consecutive possessions in overtime to spark the Colonials. McConnell, a 6-foot-2 senior guard, scored a career-high 27 with 11 in overtime.
Josh Williams leads the Colonials with 14.6 points per game and the 6-2 senior guard’s younger brother, 6-1 sophomore guard Jon Williams, averages 6.4 points. McConnell scores 10.8 a game. Charles Bain (6-8 sophomore forward) and Malik Petteway (6-8 senior forward) score 10.1 and 9.5 respectively. Petteway is the leading rebounder with 5.1 a game.
Robert Morris averages 69.9 points on 43.3 percent shooting and make eight 3-pointers on average. Josh Williams is 102 for 263 on 3-point attempts for 38.8 percent. The Colonials allow 68.4 points per game.
Andrew Toole is in his ninth season coaching at Robert Morris with a 168-139 record.
Presbyterian went on the road to begin the CIT and won at Seattle University, 73-68. Cory Hightower, a 6-7 freshman forward, led the Blue Hose in its first NCAA Division I postseason win with 18 points and 10 rebounds.
Six-foot-3 freshman guard Adam Flagler (15.7), 6-9 senior forward Francois Lewis (14.7) and 5-10 senior guard Davon Bell (10.3) are the top scorers for Presbyterian, a 3-point shooting team averaging 78.6 points and giving up 72.3 a game. Presbyterian makes 38.2 percent of its 3-pointers with a game average of 10.9.
Hightower (9.6 points) averages 6.3 rebounds and 6-4 junior guard J.C. Younger scores 9.5 points.
Flagler was the Big South Freshman of the Year while Bell was an all-conference second team selection.
Blue Hose head coach Dustin Kerns has a 30-36 record in his second season.
The nickname Blue Hose began in the early 1900s when sportswriters referred to Presbyterian teams as the Blue Stockings because they wore blue socks.
MARSHALL (20-14) VS. OPPONENT TO BE DETERMINED
When: 7 p.m. Tuesday
Where: Cam Henderson Center, Huntington
Radio: WDGG 93.7-FM, ESPN 94.1-FM and 930-AM, WMUL 88.1-FM