— By David Walsh
Utah State dominated play over the final 8 minutes and pulled away to defeat Marshall, 83-60, Sunday in the opening round of the 2023 Cayman Islands Classic in the John Gray Gymnasium in George Town, Grand Cayman.
The Thundering Herd (1-2), down 13 at the half at 39-26, had cut the deficit to 57-52 when Cameron Crawford made two free throws with 8:05 left to play.
From that point, Utah State (3-1) ruled the floor and outscored Marshall, 26-8, to win going away. The Aggies, who compete in the Big Sky, will play Monday against Akron, which defeated Florida International late Sunday, 77-71.
The Herd will take on FlU at 5 p.m.
Grant Osobor, a 6-foot-8 transfer from Montana State, led Utah State with 18 points and 16 rebounds for a double-double. Darius Brown II, Mason Falslev and Josh Uduge each contributed 11. Osobor entered the tournament averaging 22 points and 8.7 rebounds per game. The Aggies lost all five starters who were double-digit scorers from an NCAA Tournament team last year. Danny Sprinkle is their first-year coach after coming over from Montana.
Kevon Voyles, transfer from Maryland Eastern Shore, paced the Herd with 17 points. He made 7-of-17 from the field including 1-of-5 from three-point range. Nate Martin, transfer from Texas State, finished with 10 along with Crawford. Kamdyn Curfman, the Sun Belt’s top three-point shooter last season, managed eight points.
Voyles, Martin, Jacob Conner and Crawford accounted for the Herd’s eight points over the last eight minutes.
Obinna Anochili-Killen, forward for the Herd, did not play. Travel issues kept him home.
In the first two games of the event, Drake beat Oakland, 85-77, and Stephen F. Austin topped Loyola Marymount, 86-76.