Marshall Men Drop Heart-Breaking, 79-73 Overtime Loss To #20/19 George Washington

Jan. 7, 2006

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HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - The #20/19th ranked George Washington outlasted a pesky Thundering Herd team in overtime, 79-73, Saturday evening in the Cam Henderson Center.

Marshall led by as many as 12 in the second half, but could not close out the Colonials in the waning seconds. With the score tied at 64, Herd sophomore guard Mark Dorris (Cincinnati, Ohio) missed two free throws that would have given Marshall the lead and the win, because on George Washington's ensuing possession, the Colonials' Maureece Rice missed a three-pointer for the GW win.

In overtime, George Washington took its first lead since late in the first half on a Mike Hall lay-up to make the score, 68-66, with 2:40 remaining. The Colonials never looked back, outscoring Marshall 11-7 the rest of the way to come away with the victory.

"I've got to give George Washington a lot of credit," said Marshall head coach Ron Jirsa. "They looked very strong at the end. We had our chances to win, but we could not close the door. We missed a big opportunity."

Dorris' struggles at the end of regulation mirrored the Herd's troubles at the charity stripe all night. For the game, Marshall made only 18-of-33 free throws for a 54.5% clip, although the Herd shot 43.9% from the floor overall.

"They (GW) were shooting poorly and we were rebounding well and making some shots, but we did not make enough shots late in the game when the game was on the line," continued Jirsa.



The Colonials also pressured the host Herd into 28 turnovers, a season-worst. A few of those came at costly times in the second half when Marshall was protecting a lead down the stretch. With MU leading, 57-49, with 3:22 to go in regulation, George Washington reeled off seven straight points, five of which came off of Marshall turnovers, to cut the Herd lead to 57-56.

Marshall responded with a Chris Ross (San Antonio, Texas.) lay-up to make the score 59-56, and then the Colonials continued the see-saw affair with a made bucket by Carl Elliott to again get GW within one with 1:30 to go. Tre Whitted (Wilmington, N.C.) knocked in a huge three-pointer from the top of the key to push Marshall's lead back to four, 62-58, with 1:07 to go. George Washington then out-scored the Herd 6-2 to close out the game to send the contest into overtime, Marshall's second of the year.

Despite the poor free throw shooting and turnover issues, Marshall controlled the contest throughout the night. The Herd hustled its way to a 33-32 lead at the half, and only gave up the lead once, late in the first half, in the first two halves of play. MU dominated the first half glass, 22-12, 10-4 on the offensive end, in the deciding statistic of the first stanza. George Washington rallied late on the boards, but Marshall out-rebounded the Colonials,44-41, on the night.

For the game, GW converted on 40.3% of its shots from the field, 21.7% from beyond-the-arc, and 57.1% from the free throw line. The Colonials also had 15 steals on the night.

"It was a great effort tonight," said George Washington head coach Karl Hobbs. "The experience of our team was the difference in the game tonight. Marshall looks a lot like what this team looked like two years ago. I know I can tell you I'm not going to be playing them [Marshall] in two years.

"I thought Marshall was playing not to lose later in the game. I told the team that we can trap them and play our game. Marshall was not being as aggressive as before, so we took the chance to be even more aggressive and pick the pace of the game up. That was the difference for us."

Patton led Marshall with 21 points. Freshman forward Markel Humphrey (Ellenwood, Ga.) had his second double-double of his young career with 15 points and ten rebounds, and Chris Ross added 11 points for the Herd.

"Tonight we played our way," said Markel Humphrey. "I think we played with confidence and we came out with confidence and believed in ourselves."

Danilo Pinnock led four GW scorers with 21 points. Carl Elliott added 18 points, and Pops Mensah-Bonsu and Maureece Rice each chipped in 15 points, respectively.

Marshall opens its inaugural season in Conference USA when they travel to UCF Wednesday night.