Defense, Rebounds Leads Herd Past Owls
Elmore, Watson, Penava and Burks all reached double figures
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — Junior guard Jon Elmore scored a game-high 22 points as part of a balanced offensive effort to lead Marshall past visiting Florida Atlantic Saturday night, 79-68, in front of 5,761 fans at the Cam Henderson Center.
With the win, the Thundering Herd bumped up to 17-8 (8-4 Conference USA), while the Owls fell to 10-14 (4-8 C-USA).
Elmore was joined in double-figures by juniors Rondale Watson (18), Ajdin Penava (16) and C.J. Burks (12). Penava also grabbed 15 rebounds for his team-leading 12th double-double of the season. Watson added nine rebounds, including a team-high six on the offensive glass.
After a back-and-forth first eight minutes, Burks connected on the last of his two made 3-pointers to give Marshall a four-point advantage, 16-12. Florida Atlantic went on a 5-0 run to take the lead, 21-19, but a Watson dunk and a Penava layup gave the Herd the lead, 23-21, with 5:33 left in the half.
Florida Atlantic never led for the remainder of the contest. A 3-pointer by Watson and a jumper by Elmore sent the Herd into the break with a 33-28 lead.
Marshall extended its lead to eight in the early stages of the second half when Penava found senior forward Milan Mijovic for a layup, but an 8-2 run for Florida Atlantic quickly cut a 41-33 Herd lead to 43-41.
A 3-pointer by Elmore quickly extended Marshall’s lead back to seven, 52-45, but Florida Atlantic responded. A 10-3 run capped by a 3-pointer by Gerdarius Troutman tied the game at 55 with just under 12 minutes left in the contest.
Watson answer the Owls run with a three-point play, and Marshall led for the remainder of the contest. Burks found freshman forward Jannson Williams on the next Marshall possession to increase the Herd lead back to five, 60-55 near the midway point of the half.
The Owls’ Ronald Delph made layups on consecutive possessions for the Owls to cut the lead back to one, 60-59, but the Herd responded with an 11-0 run capped by Elmore’s fourth 3-pointer of the game, extending its lead to double-digits for the first time, 71-59, with 4:15 left in the game, and putting the game out of reach.
Marshall shot 42.4 percent (28-for 66) from the field and 32.4 percent (12-for-37) from behind the arc. The Herd held the Owls to 34.2 percent (25-for-73) from the field.
Jon Elmore scored double-figures for the 60th consecutive game… Elmore scored 18 of his 22 points in the second half, hitting all four of his 3-pointers in the final 20 minutes…With a career-high four blocks, Jannson Williams led the Herd in blocks for the third time this season...Marshall now has a win-loss record of 14-1 at home this season—the best in C-USA...After shooting 6-12 from the field, Rondale Watson had a field goal percentage of 50 percent or above for the fourth-straight contest…Watson scored 18 total points, his second-highest total of the season. Jarrod West led the team with six assists, tying his season-high. West’s 73 total assists this season is second-highest on the team.
The Herd takes its second road trip to Texas next week, playing at Rice Thursday and at North Texas Saturday.