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Balanced Game for Herd Men's Hoops Too Much for Akron

Dec. 2, 2017

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Box Score (PDF)

D'Antoni Press Conference

HUNTINGTON, W.Va.—A balanced performance with three Herd scorers reaching 20 points earned and limiting the opposition to just 25 percent from three-pointers gave the Marshall men’s basketball team a convincing 86-64 win over Akron Saturday night at the Cam Henderson Center.

The Herd improved to 5-3 overall, while the Zips fell to 3-2 on the season. The win for Marshall snapped a seven-game losing streak against Akron.

Junior guard Jon Elmore led the team in scoring for seventh time in eight games with 22 points. Junior forward Ajdin Penava recorded his fifth double-double of the season with 20 points and a career-high 13 rebounds. Junior guard C.J. Burks also added 20 points, and played 40 minutes on the night.

Defensively, the Herd was dominant. Akron’s 64 points were a season-low given up by Marshall. The Herd earned 26 points off 23 Akron turnovers, which was a new season best for the Herd in forced turnovers. The Herd recorded 44 rebounds, which was the second best mark this season only behind 52 against Concord.

Marshall on offense shot 30-of-64 from the field on the night (46.9 percent). The Herd made 10 of 29 from beyond the arc (34.5 percent). The Herd allowed Akron to only shoot 38 percent from the field (24-of-63) and 25 percent from three-point range (6-of-24).

Akron scored the first two points of the night, but after that it was nearly all Marshall. Marshall permanently took the lead with a layup from Penava with 15:59 to go in the first half. The Herd used a 13-0 run spanning over four minutes midway through the first half to jump over the Zips.

The first half was dominant for the Herd, who led for 18:40 of the period. The Herd shot 52 percent (16-31) from the field in the half. The Herd had 22 points in the paint, and scored 19 points off 15 forced Zips turnovers.

Marshall led 44-29 at the halfway mark. The last time Marshall allowed 30 points or less at halftime was January 26 of last season against UTSA, when the Roadrunners scored 24 at the midway mark.

The second half was more of the same from Marshall. The Herd never allowed more than five consecutive points from Akron in a comfortable second half. The lowest Akron cut the lead to was 13 points with 11:02 to play, which was responded to by a three pointer from freshman guard Jarrod West, who had 10 points on the night.


  • This was the 26th meeting between the Herd and Zips. Akron has a 14-12 lead in the series.
  • Tonight’s win snapped a seven-game losing streak against Akron. The Herd’s last win against the Zips before tonight came on March 3, 2004 (78-68). Marshall was a member of the Mid-American Conference at the time of that game.
  • This was head coach Dan D’Antoni’s first win against Akron. D’Antoni was previously 0-3 against the Zips.
  • Marshall improved to 38-14 at home under D’Antoni. The Herd is a perfect 5-0 at home this season.
  • Marshall is 39-10 under D’Antoni when leading at the half. The Herd led Akron by 15 after the first 20 minutes of play.
  • Marshall is 38-18 under D’Antoni when making more free throws than its opponents. The Herd made 16 free throws; Akron made just 10.
  • The Herd is 28-9 under D’Antoni when scoring 80 or more points (86 tonight) and is 17-7 when allowing fewer than 70 points (64 tonight).
  • Marshall extended its streak of games with a made 3-pointer to 850 with Jon Elmore’s 3-pointer just 1:08 into the contest. The Herd made 10 treys in the game.
  • Marshall is now 28-7 under D’Antoni when outrebounding the opponent. The Herd had 44 rebounds (17 offensive, 27 defensive) to Akron’s 38 (17 offensive, 21 defensive).
  • This was the fourth consecutive game with the same starting five for the Herd (Koljanin, Penava, West, Burks, Elmore)
  • Jon Elmore extended his streak of games with double-figure scoring to 43. Elmore’s streak is the second-longest in Division I, trailing only Wofford’s Fletcher Magee. Elmore finished with a team-high 22 points.
  • The Herd’s 15-point halftime lead is the largest halftime lead Marshall has had against a Division I opponent this season (44-29).
  • This was the first game this season in which Marshall allowed less than 30 points in the first half (29).
  • Akron’s 29 first half points are the lowest first half point total Marshall has allowed since allowing just 27 against UTSA on Jan. 26, 2017. Marshall won that contest, 92-71.
  • Akron’s Daniel Utomi came into tonight’s game averaging 23.8 points per game. Utomi was held to just six first half points and finished with 15.
  • Utomi, who entered the contest as the leading scorer in the Mid-American Conference, was scoreless in the first 18 minutes of the contest.
  • C.J. Burks has scored in double-figures in every game this season. Burks had 20 tonight.
  • Marshall forced a season-high 15 first half turnovers. Akron entered tonight’s game averaging 14.5 turnovers per game.
  • Ajdin Penava has reached double-figures in scoring in every game this season. Penava finished with 20 tonight.
  • Penava recorded his fifth double-double of the season, finishing with 20 points and 13 rebounds.
  • Akron’s 23 turnovers are a new season-high for the Zips. Their previous high was 17, accomplished twice (Cleveland State and Dayton).
  • The Herd turned Akron’s 23 turnovers into 26 points, its third highest points off turnovers total (38 vs. UT Martin, 35 vs. Concord).
  • Marshall had more points in the paint (38-32), points off turnovers (26-22) and second chance points (20-12) than Akron.

The Herd returns to action at home in the Cam Henderson Center for a matchup on Tuesday, Dec. 5 against Chattanooga at 7 p.m. 

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