Herd finish on 12-0 run for much-needed win at Ohio

— By David Walsh

Marshall had a trying time from the foul line, but behind the arc, something different happened.

Marshall knocked down three three-pointers in the final 2 minutes Saturday to spark a 12-0 run and send the Thundering Herd past Ohio, 74-69, to snap a four-game losing streak and secure its first win in the Convocation Center since 2010.

Ohio (5-4) held a 69-62 lead with two minutes to play when A.J. Clayton scored a basket.

Then the Herd magic. Kamdyn Curfman started the charge with a three and then Kevon Voyles followed with one with 1:22 left to cut the lead to one (69-68).

The Obinna Anochili-Killen banked home a three with 22 seconds left to put Marshall ahead, 71-69. Hunter then missed a shot, Anochili-Killen got fouled, missed the first free throw, but made the second for a 72-69 lead with eight seconds left.

Curfman fouled Mitchell with five seconds left, he missed the first free throw, Voyles got the rebound and then fouled with four seconds to go. He made both for a 74-69 lead and the Bobcats ran out of time and many in the crowd of 4,623 left disappointed. This was Ohio’s second home loss of the season. They watched the Herd outscore them, 14-2, over the final 2:38 as they went 0-of-5 and 1-of-11 from the floor down the stretch.

“Just had to be resilient,” Voyles said after the game. “Coach said if we get out shooting going, we could win a lot of games. We had to get the rhythm down. Tonight it showed.”

Herd coach Dan D’Antoni, after making the jaunt to the radio booth located on the concourse level for his interview, got his breath and explained what he just witnessed.

“Excellent coaching … when the ball left his hand I was coaching the crap out of it,” D’Antoni said of Anochili-Killen’s game-altering three. “I’m proud of them. When you’re losing, it’s hard. I told them we’re getting better.”

Marshall (3-6) shot 26 of 53 for the game and converted 8 of 18 from behind the arc. D’Antoni noted when the Herd shoots 44 percent or better it wins. And on this day the Herd converted just 14-of-26 free throws to Ohio’s 13 of 15

Voyles admitted surprise when Anochili-Killen drained the decisive three.

“It was like, ‘whoo it went in’,” Voyles said. “We able to make the extra play and knock down some shots. We’ve still got a lot to work on. It’s always good to get a win. Gives us a little bit of confidence.”

“It’s been a shooting thing,” D’Antoni said. “Defense was a good thing. It’ll be a bit edgy. They make my ride back to Huntington better tonight.”

Anochili-Killen, who was expected to take some nice kidding about his last three, and Voyles, transfer from Maryland Eastern Shore, each had 18 points to lead the Herd. Anochili-Killen struggled at the foul line going 7-of-14, but he made the ones that counted at the end.

“Our offense is based on speed, spacing and making the right decisions,” D’Antoni said. “When it (ball goes in), it’s fun to watch.”

Jaylin Hunter led Ohio with 19 points. Shereef Mitchell added 12 and Clayton 10.

Marshall returns to action Wednesday at Toledo. Game time is 7 p.m. The Mid-American team is 5-3 after it beat Northern Iowa, 84-80, Saturday at home.

Marshall and Ohio University are long-time rivals and both schools at one time were MAC members. The Herd now calls the Sun Belt Conference home. Saturday’s game was the back half of a doubleheader. Syracuse beat the Ohio in women’s action in the opener.

In the first half, Ohio hit three early treys and the Herd called a timeout with 16:53 left in the half. The Bobcats led by nine (34-25) with 4:45 left in the half, but the Herd cut the deficit to 38-37 by halftime despite making just 1-of-5 free throws.

Ohio leads the all-time series 57-51, but is 6-9 in the last 15 meetings dating back to 2004-05.

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