Dec. 17, 2016
Box Score (PDF)
AKRON, Ohio – Stevie Browning’s (Logan, W.Va.) game-high 31 points were not enough to help Marshall defeat the Akron Zips, as the Herd fell, 99-88, on Saturday evening.
With the loss Marshall falls to 6-4, while Akron moves to 8-3. Senior guard Austin Loop (South Webster, Ohio) had a season-high 24 points and junior guard Jon Elmore (Charleston, W.Va) had his third consecutive double-double with points (10) and assists (10). Elmore became the first player in program history to have three straight double-doubles with points and assists.
The Zips opened the game hitting a barrage of three-pointers, having hit six in the opening four minutes of play to make the score 26-13, with Akron leading at the 13:37 mark. Browning collected nine of his first half 16 points in the opening six minutes of play.
From there Marshall would play catch up for the first of the half. The Herd would cut it seven points when sophomore forward Ajdin Penava’s slam dunk made it 39-32, Akron, but that is as close as Marshall could get in first half.
The Herd finished the first half trailing, 42-53. Marshall shot 16-of-30 from the field, 7-of-11 from three-pointers and had 10 rebounds in the first half. The Zips shot 19-of-29, with 11 of those field goals coming from three-point range. Loop added nine points of his own from 3-of-5 shooting.
The second half was a more of an even affair for the Herd. Loop opened up the second half with a three-pointer, which sparked a 12-4 run and cut the Zips’ lead to 57-59 at the 15:54 point of play. Those two points were as close as Marshall came in the game, as it never gained the advantage over Akron.
The Herd kept things close until the Zips pulled away once and for all at the 2:55 mark when Akron scored eight consecutive points to make the score 97-84. Freshman forward Phil Bledsoe (Wheeling, W.Va) and Browning added layups in the waning minutes, but it was not enough as the Akron closed out the game, 99-88.
Head coach Dan D’Antoni
“Akron is obviously a good ball club, so when I speak on what we need to do, I don’t want to minimize what they do. They shoot the ball extremely well. They have an effective big guy. They’ve won 22 straight. We’re short-handed, but that’s part of the game. You still have to come out and play. I thought we played extremely well. We moved the ball well from the outside.
“We got it to a five-point game and we got nothing from four plays. We tried to do individual plays instead of team plays. That’s not the way we have to go. I hope this is a lesson. We will go back and look at film and explain that the ball has to move. We want to score from ball movement."
On the schedule:
“We don’t have road wins, because of who we’ve played. We’ve gone to Ohio State, Chattanooga, Akron and Eastern Kentucky. Those are all great ball clubs. Road wins are difficult anywhere. We’ve played our most difficult games on the road. You can schedule a 20-win season, but that’s not what we want to do. We are playing tough teams on their court. We will see what happens. At the end of the year, it is going to make us better.”
On the depth:
"With the injuries, it’s made us explore our depth. It gives us a good read on what someone can and can not do. It’s unfortunate, because we have three of our top six guys out. Other guys stepped up tonight. We had a chance to win this ball game. We went to hero ball. We will look at the film and see how we can improve.”
- Jon Elmore is the first player in program history to have three consecutive double-doubles with points and assists.
- Elmore is the first player to collect three straight double-doubles since James Kelly (2015-16) collected three from Jan. 3-9.
- Elmore has scored double-digit points in all 10 games this season.
- Austin Loop’s 24 points were a season-high, which surpassed his previous high of 19 vs. Western Carolina (Nov. 19).
- Loop’s seven field goals were a season-high.
- Loop has yet to miss a free throw this season, having gone 16-of-16 this season. His five free throw attempts and makes were a season-high.
- Loop is also shooting 48.6 percent from three-pointers this season.
- Milan Mijovic eight points were a career-high.
- Browning has scored at least 29 points in two consecutive games. It is his first time to do so in his career.
- Browning has had one turnover over his last two games.
- Marshall has scored at least 70 points in 30 straight games, dating back to the 2015-16 season.
- Nikolic’s eight rebounds tied a career-high, while his eight points tied a season-high.
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Marshall will close out its non-conference home schedule when it welcome West Virginia Wesleyan on Monday, Dec. 19 at 6 p.m.