HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Marshall couldn’t get the offense rolling early on against Old Dominion, and that is an understatement. The Herd missed its first ten shots against the Monarchs and didn’t score through the first eight minutes and 10 seconds of the game. Trailing 14-0, Marshall finally came to life and came all the way back to defeat ODU 90-86 in overtime Thursday night at the Cam Henderson Center.
“It was a struggle in the first half,” admitted senior Ryan Taylor. “Somebody told us that we didn’t score until almost the second media timeout. We knew it was going to be a grind it out game, because of their style, especially when we didn’t hit shots. We can play either way, grind it out, up-tempo everything. It was a big win.
The Herd did not hold a lead in the contest until 2:25 left in the game when Taylor converted a conventional three-point play from the foul line, giving Marshall a 71-70 advantage. Stevie Browning drained a three on the following possession to put the Herd in front by four points but Marshall could not close the deal in regulation.
ODU’s Ahmad Caver made a game-tying layup at the buzzer to force the game into overtime.
“It’s a game of runs. We made our runs. They made their runs. We didn’t execute that great in the stretch at the end of regulation, but we knew we had a chance, because the game wasn’t over. At the end of the day, we made our run at the end and sealed it off,” said junior Jon Elmore.
In overtime, Elmore tied the game at 86-86 with a pair of free-throws with 1:09 left then C.J. Burks circled through the Monarch defense to find a wide open Ajdin Penava under the basket for the go-ahead layup with 12 seconds left.
That was all C.J. That’s something we teach the guards to keep circling and bigs to go right to the hoop. C.J. did a nice job. He didn’t panic, he kept circling and the next thing you know he got the dump off,” said coach Dan D’Antoni.
Ryan Taylor earned his fifth double-double of the season with 21 points and 13 rebounds. Jon Elmore led the Herd with 26 points on the night.
“Sometimes I wonder who has the wrong horseshoe. They bank a shot in, they make a shot right at the end, it’s just amazing how many times we’re trying to get over this hurdle. It’s almost identical to my high school team until we establish that we’re winners. Once that happens it seems to go away for some odd reason. Maybe this will be the turning point but we’ve got a tough game coming up against Charlotte,” said D’Antoni.
Marshall remains undefeated at home this season and will try to continue that streak Saturday when Charlotte comes to Huntington for a 7 p.m. tip off.