The Marshall Thundering Herd Basketball Team is off to a slow start. The Herd has dropped its first four contests of the season as it breaks in a team with eight new faces from last year. Tonight, the Herd is back at the Cam Henderson Center to take on the Akron Zips from the MAC. Marshall is currently 0 – 1 on the year at home after last weeks set back to James Madison.
Akron enters the game with five wins and two losses. The Zips opened the season with wins over Cleveland State and Hiram, before getting its biggest win of the year thus far on the road at SEC Arkansas. The Zips won 88 – 80. The Arkansas football team lost to a MAC team this year as well, falling to Toledo at home.
Akron then lost on the road to highly ranked Villanova, and then lost at Green Bay. They have bounced back with home wins over Charleston Southern and Coppin State. Coppin State, who is 2 – 4, fell behind early before cutting it to 2 with 49 seconds remaining, before losing 77 to 71.
Akron scores as a team. Six players are averaging at least 8.6 points per game. Antino Jackson leads the team with 12 points per game. The sophomore point guard also leads the team with 4.7 assists per game. However, he is turnover prone with 3.1 turnovers per game. Pat Forsythe is third on the team in scoring with 10.7, and second in rebounds with 7.6. Isaiah Johnson leads the Zips In rebounds with 8.6 per game, he also averages 8.6 points per game.
Marshall has four players averaging at least 12 points per game, but sees a big fall off after that point. James Kelly leads the team with 14 points per game. He is followed by Stevie Browning with 12.5, CJ Burks with 12.3, and Ryan Taylor with 12 points per game.
Marshall has to get production from sharp shooter Austin Loop. After a good start he has went ice cold the last two games. He is shooting just 8 for 23 from three point range for the year. Senior Justin Edmonds is only shooting 27.8 percent from three point range. The shooting must improve for the Herd to be successful.
Burks has led the team in scoring for three straight games, scoring 12, 17, then a season high 20 points in the last game out at Ohio.
Marshall is trying to prevent an 0 – 5 start. Marshall has not started 0 – 5 since they started 0 – 6 in the 1964/1965 season. Head Coach Ellis Johnson led the Herd to a 4 – 20 year, 1 – 11 in the MAC.
Marshall tips off tonight at 7pm against the Zips.