Photo by Rick Voight for ODU Sports
Old Dominion never trailed Thursday night and handled the Marshall Thundering Herd 86-65 in front of 6,248 fans at the Ted Constant Convention Center in Norfolk, Virginia to avenge an early January loss to the Herd.
Marshall (15-13, 8-7) started slow and was playing uphill the rest of the way, unable to ever truly threaten ODU (17-10, 10-5) throughout the remainder of the game.
The Monarchs took an immediate lead as the game began and led it 8-2 with 15:33 remaining in the first half. The Herd’s first field goal of the game came at the 13:44 mark of the first half when point guard Jon Elmore connected on a 3-pointer to cut the ODU lead down to 14-8.
The Herd trailed 19-9 with 9:55 remaining in the first half, but would finish the game without the services of head coach Dan D’Antoni who was ejected from the game at the 9:25 mark of the first half after picking up his second technical foul.
Marshall battled over the next several minutes and ODU’s lead stood at just 32-24 with 3:25 remaining in the first half. The Monarchs closed out the first half with a 37-28 halftime advantage.
But as the second half began, ODU began to pull away. The Monarchs began the half on an 8-2 scoring run to surge in front 45-30 with 17:55 remaining in the second half.
Marshall guard Austin Loop connected on a 3-pointer at the 14:26 mark of the second half to cut the ODU lead down to 51-41, but that was as close as the Herd would get throughout the remainder of the game.
The Monarchs followed with a 15-5 scoring run to put the game away and open up a 66-46 lead with 7:18 remaining in the second half. ODU maintained a lead of at least 14 points from that point and closed out a resounding 86-65 win over Marshall to win its third straight game.
Loop led the Herd with 18 points on five out of nine shooting from behind the arc while Elmore finished with 15 points and eight rebounds despite a slow shooting performance.
Forward Terrence Thompson added 12 points and six rebounds as well for Marshall while forward Ryan Taylor chipped in seven points and seven rebounds.
Guard C.J. Burks finished with six points and four rebounds starting in place of the injured Stevie Browning who missed the game with back spasms. Guard B.J. Stith led ODU with 17 points and four rebounds.
The Herd shot just 37 percent from the field for the game and 30.8 percent from 3-point territory. Aside from Browning’s injury, D’Antoni said in his postgame press conference “We’ve been sick all week.”
With the loss, the Herd’s chances at gaining a first round bye in the upcoming C-USA Tournament diminish and it will certainly need to win out to have any shot at obtaining one of those byes.
Marshall has little time to get healthy as it closes out its regular season road schedule Saturday night at Charlotte. ODU returns to action Saturday night at home against Western Kentucky.