BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Marshall earned its first berth in the Conference USA championship game since 2012 with a 93-77 victory over Louisiana Tech Friday afternoon in the tournament semifinals.
The Thundering Herd made 19 three-pointers in the contest, setting a new C-USA tournament single-game record as well as tying the school record previously set back in January.
First-team all-conference guard Jon Elmore was the leading scorer with 21 points, all of which coming from seven makes from beyond the arc. Senior Austin Loop added 18, going 6-8 from three-point range.
“I have to give credit to my teammates,” Elmore said. “They put me in a lot of advantageous positions. The shots were falling tonight. It was a great team effort.”
Stevie Browning had 18 points and seven assists. He is averaging 21 points per game thus far throughout the tournament.
Senior forward Ryan Taylor notched a double-double for the Herd, going for 19 points and 11 rebounds.
“Ryan’s our long term member,” Marshall head coach Dan D’Antoni said. “He’s changed the Marshall program. He’s been the leader. Real happy for him.”
Louisiana Tech (23-10) dominated Marshall in rebounds (43-31) and points in the paint (40-26), but the Bulldogs were never able to find a way to chase the Herd off the three-point line. They trailed by as many as 16 points in the first half and as many 18 in the second. Marshall held the lead for 35:51 of the game’s 40 minutes.
The tandem of DaQuan Bracey and Erik McCree led the way for Louisiana Tech, scoring 16 points apiece.
Marshall (20-14) will face regular season champions Middle Tennessee Saturday night in the Conference USA championship game. The Blue Raiders defeated UTEP, 82-56, in the other semifinal game. With a win, the Thundering Herd would earn its first NCAA tournament appearance since 1987.
Tipoff is scheduled for 8:30 eastern.