The Blazers (23-5, 13-2) defeated the Marshall Thundering Herd (15-13, 11-4) to retain sole possession first place in the conference by a score of 95 to 91 on Thursday night. The Blazers are now two games ahead of the team in second place, Marshall, with only three games left in the regular season.
All scorers were led by Marshall’s Stevie Browning who tallied an impressive 23 points on 9-of-14 shooting and 2 free throws. Jon Elmore and Ryan Taylor accounted for 19 points each, and James Kelly and C.J. Burks had 12 apiece. James Kelly and Ryan Taylor both led the Thundering Herd in rebounds with 9 each. Elmore also accounted for a team best 7 assists. The Herd as a team shot 44.2 percent from the field and 29.4 percent from beyond the arc. They also shot 81.3 percent from the free throw line making 13-of-16.
The Blazers were led in scoring by Dirk Williams who was on fire tonight shooting 6-of-7 and making all three of his free throw attempts.Nick Norton, Chris Cokley, and Robert Brown each added double-digit scoring with 17, 16, and 13 each, respectively. William Lee led all rebounders in the game with 10 boards. Robert Brown led the Blazers in assists with five. The Blazers shot relatively well tonight shooting 47 percent from the floor and 45.8 percent from beyond the arc. The Blazers were also 22-of-30 from the free throw line for a percentage of 73.3.
What a game right? It was back-and-forth for the entire game, but our depth once again helped us immensely.We are the deepest team in the conference and obviously the team to beat. Our biggest problem in the first half was tracking down rebounds, but that ship righted in the second half.
The only concern I have for the team is our consistency from the free throw line. Games can easily be won and lost from there (Auburn), and if we want to make a legitimate run for the championship and the automatic Big Dance bid that that entails, then we really need to make more of our FREE throws. Other than that it was a solid win against a very hot Marshall team.