MIAMI, FL – Marshall notched its first win away from the Cam Henderson Center with a 94-74 win over Florida International University Saturday afternoon as it began Conference USA play.
Sophomore Ajdin Penava led Marshall with a career-high 20 points and eight rebounds to go along with five blocks. Stevie Browning added 13 points and four rebounds and Ryan Taylor chipped in with six points and seven rebounds.
“We don’t highlight certain players. We play what we do. I just think it was that the team played harder and we had a lot more energy,” coach Dan D’Antoni.
“I talked to them and they need to play early. That means they don’t wait for the man to catch it and then start to play defense. They need to play defense before the man gets it. When that happens, we limit fouls and that’s a good thing. We got lazy towards the end. I want them to understand that I even though I want you smiling, I want you on the other team’s throat, pushing down. You can smile while you do it. You don’t have to grimace and act like a bad guy. They need to hold the team down when they have them there.”
The Herd began the game on a 12-0 run thanks to senior guard Browning’s five points, a three-pointer from Elmore and a layup from Penava. The Panthers battled back to cut it to a two-point Marshall lead and made it 19-17 at the 10:37 mark, but the Herd turned up the offense and went on a 10-0 run to snub the FIU threat.
Marshall finished the game shooting 34-of-59 (57.6 percent) from the field and 11-of-26 (42.3 percent) from three-point land. The Herd never trailed during the game and led for 39:10 second of play.
Marshall continues its road trip to begin league play at Florida Atlantic on Tuesday. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.