WVU Gets Close 55-51 Classic Win Over Marshall

It may not have been a high-scoring game, but once again the Marshall-WVU contest in Charleston came down to the last possession. WVU's Tyrone Sally grabbed an offensive rebound and got the go-ahead basket with :29 left to edge out Marshall, 55-51, in front of 12,115 at the Charleston Civic Center on Wednesday evening...

The 106 points scored was the lowest output in the series' 36-game history.

"It was a great atmosphere," said MU first-year coach Ron Jirsa after the loss. "We had our chances and we missed a couple shots I thought we could have made."

On four occasions in the first half, WVU jumped out to an 11-point lead, the last coming at 29-18 with 3:02 left in the first half. Marshall's A.W. Hamilton and Eric Smith each hit three-pointers in the closing minute, cutting WVU's lead to 29-26 at the half.

Marvin Black put up a shot over WVU's D'or Fischer in the Mountaineers' 55-51 win on Wednesday evening.

"Our shots just weren't falling," said Marshall forward/center Mark Patton of the first half.

Hamilton tied the game up on the first possession of the second half, hitting another three-pointer. Marshall then went on a 9-0 run to gain a 7-point lead (38-31) on Ardo Armpalu's lay-in with 15:05 remaining.

"In the timeouts, coach kept telling us we were going to start making our shots and not to panic," said Marshall guard A.W. Hamilton. "We went on a run and started playing well there for a while."

"We just had to keep our composure," said WVU's Jarmon Durisseau-Collins. "We just had to weather the storm."

WVU's Tyrone Sally hit three free throws and one basket in the next 4 minutes, and D'or Fischer's layup with 9:44 remaining gave WVU the slim one-point lead at 43-42.

And in the end, the Toyota Capital Classic came down to who scored on their final possession. Just like the last two matchups between the in-state rivals.

Marshall's Mark Patton blocked two D'or Fischer shots in the waning minutes to keep MU within three-points. The Mountaineers' Tyrone Sally grabbed a critical offensive rebound with :29 remaining and got the put-back in the lane to give WVU a 52-49 lead.

"That was a big rebound by Sally," added Marshall coach Ron Jirsa.

Ronny Dawn and A.W. Hamilton both missed three-pointers in the final few seconds. Sally hit a free throw with :03 left to clinch the win and set the final 55-51 margin of victory for WVU.

Both teams suffered unusally poor shooting nights. WVU only hit 17-of-54 shots (31.5%), while Marshall did slightly better, hitting 16-of-45 (35.6%).

Marshall's Marvin Black and WVU's Tyrone Sally both scored 18 points (Black also pulled down 10 rebounds) to lead both teams. Joe Herber (WVU) was the only other player on both teams to score in double figures in the low-scoring game.

WVU improved to 9-6 overall with the win, and Marshall dropped down to a 6-8 overall record with the loss. Next up for Marshall is the Ohio Bobcats in a MAC contest scheduled for 7pm in the Cam Henderson Center in Huntington this Saturday.

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