NORFOLK, Va. – In its final regular season road game of its 2013-14 campaign, the Marshall men’s basketball team came up short as a result of a lack-luster shooting performance against Conference USA newcomer Old Dominion by a score of 70-63 on Thursday night at Ted Constant Convocation Center.
With the win, the Monarchs now sit at 14-15 overall and 8-6 in league play this season, while the Thundering Herd drops to 9-20 overall and 3-11 versus C-USA foes. The ODU victory breaks a 4-4 tie in the all-time series between the programs prior to tonight’s contest, which served as meeting number nine.
Both sides struggled offensively early on as the opposing defenses kept the clamps tight to limit good shot opportunities and force turnovers. At the eight-minute media timeout with 7:40 until halftime, the Herd and Monarchs were knotted up at 14 points apiece.
Trailing ODU 21-17, Marshall went on a 9-0 run that spanned 2:50, putting the Herd on top, 26-21 with 3:02 remaining until the half.
At the break, the visiting Herd held serve, 27-25, despite having shot 10-of-26 from the field (38.5 percent). Marshall found great success in clogging the passing lanes with high hands on defense, which led to six Monarch turnovers in the first 20 minutes and four steals by the Herd defense.
Out of the 27 first-half points for Marshall, underclassmen Kareem Canty (Harlem, N.Y.) and Chris Thomas (Denver) combined for 21 of those, with Canty having led the way with 13 in his starting role.
The second half opened with the two teams exchanging buckets before the Monarchs went on a 9-1 run after trailing 30-27 to force a timeout from Marshall coach Tom Herrion with 16:21 to play and ODU leading, 36-31.
ODU continued to battle with Marshall as the Monarchs led 46-37 with 11:40 left in the contest, as the Herd looked to make a run as Thomas and a foul-troubled Ryan Taylor (Indianapolis) reentered the game.
A bucket from ODU’s Dimitri Batten pushed the lead to 14 at the 7:07 mark, setting the biggest lead of the night for the Monarchs as the scoreboard read 56-42. The ODU lead remained of the double-figure variety as with 3:45 left, the Herd trailed, 59-49.
In the waning moments, Marshall cut the deficit to five with the score at 64-59 and 34.0 seconds remaining on a triple from Canty, but not enough time remained for the Herd to successfully complete a comeback as the clock ran out and the Monarchs collected a 70-63 victory. With the seven point defeat, Marshall has now lost 15 games this year by 10 or fewer points
On the night, Marshall went 20-for-54 (37 percent) from the field and 6-of-15 (40 percent) from beyond the arc. Canty finished with a game-high 24 points in 39 minutes on the floor, while Thomas added 17 of his own, paired with seven rebounds.
The Herd will return home for a pair of home games to close out the regular season, starting with a Sunday contest with East Carolina at 2 p.m. on Mar. 2.