Ball State Escapes With 79-78 Win

"It's a tough pill to swallow," summed up Marshall forward Marvin Black, "but eventually, you've got to swallow it." Black torched the Ball State Cardinals for 30 points and 12 rebounds, but a last-second charge called on Black handed the 79-78 win to Ball State Tuesday evening at the Henderson Center...

Black was all but unstoppable against Ball State, hitting 11-of-18 from the field and a perfect 8-of-8 from the free throw line. The last play of the game put a damper on Black's otherwise stellar evening.

Marshall (9-15 overall, 6-9 MAC) and Ball State (11-13, 8-7) didn't play the best first half of basketball. Marshall shot 36.4% (12-of-33) in the first half, and BSU did slightly better at 15-of-32 (46.9%). BSU forward Cameron Echols did the most damage against Marshall, hitting 14 points in the first half.

Marvin Black dropped in two of his 30 points against Ball State on Tuesday evening at the Henderson Center in Huntington.

"We held him to 2 points in the second half and no rebounds, so we did a better job on him in the second half," MU coach Ron Jirsa said afterwards.

Marshall led by as many as six points (18-12) when Marvin Black cut down the lane early in the first half. However, Ball State's Dennis Trammell hit a layup with 5:32 left to give the Cardinals their biggest lead at 30-25. Ball State had a 37-33 lead at the half.

"We fought like crazy the whole game," Marshall guard A.W. Hamilton said.

Hamilton nailed a three-pointer with 15:51 left to tie the game at 45-45. Marshall kept Ball State in check the rest of the half, with the Cardinals only able to increase their lead by six points. Black's lay-in with 2:36 left cut the BSU lead to four (75-71), and he and Mark Patton each added two free throws to tie the game at 75-75 with 1:26 remaining.

BSU's Robert Owens hit two free throws with :23 remaining to go ahead 78-75, but Hamilton hit a long-range three from 26 feet away to cut it to 79-78 with :18 left in the game.

Ball State's Matt McCollum couldn't grab an in-bounds pass, turning the ball over to Marshall. On the MU in-bounds play, the ball went to Marvin Black at the top of the post. Black turned toward the basket and was hit with a charging foul with :02 left in the game, sealing the Ball State 79-78 win.

"I was looking out my peripheral vision, and felt somebody slide," Black described the play. "It was just one of those calls where you think because you're at home, it wouldn't be called. To my surprise, it was called."

In addition to Black's 30 point, 12 rebound performance, teammates A.W. Hamilton (16 points) and Mark Patton (13 points, 11 rebounds) also scored in double figures. Ball State was led by Dennis Trammell's 19 points, followed by Cameron Echols' 16 and Matt McCollum's 17 points.

"That was a disappointing loss," MU coach Jirsa summed up. "And it was disappointing because we played hard but didn't get it done in the end."

Marshall is now tied with Akron at the ninth spot in the MAC regular season race. The Herd now goes on the road to take on the Ohio Bobcats this Sunday afternoon at 2pm.

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