"Tamar Slay just ripped us up in the first five minutes," said Eastern Michigan coach Jim Boone. "They did a great job of speeding the game up, and we could not afford to play at the pace that they played at."
Marshall came out the aggressor for once, using a full-court press and in general running a fast-style offense from the get-go. The result was a bevy of Eastern Michigan turnovers that turned into Marshall points. The Herd quickly pulled away to a 22-12 lead as a result, and never looked back.
"I came out ready to play tonight," Tamar Slay said of the difference between his game at Miami last week and tonight's game against EMU. "I was fired up. I was ready. This is my last year, and I'm sick of losing like that (Miami) on the road."
Tamar Slay launches one of his first-half three-pointers against Eastern Michigan. Slay finished with 27 points in the Marshall win.
Slay, benched early in last week's loss at Miami, nailed three quick three-pointers early in the first half, as if making a statement that he came ready to play. Slay's first half shooting enabled Marshall to enjoy a comfortable 51-38 lead at the half.
In the second half, it was more of the same from Marshall, although it was Ron Blackshear's three-point shooting -- he made all four of his in the second half-- that extended the Marshall lead to as many as 29 points. Latece Williams turned in a perfect performance, going 8-for-8 from the field and 3-for-3 from the free-throw line for 19 total points.
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Poca, WV native Ricky Cottrill led Eastern Michigan with an amazing 32 points. Cottrill worked off screens all night long, hitting 4-of-10 three-pointers, and going 10-of-22 overall from the field. It was a good homecoming for Cottrill.
"It's just good to come back home and play in front of everybody," said Cottrill. "He's a phenomenally conditioned athlete," Greg White said of Cottrill. "He's very talented."
"We used our weapons. Our home run hitters hit home runs," White summed up. "We took one bad shot tonight, and I can live with that."
Slay's 27 points led Marshall, while Blackshear's 20, Latece Williams' 19, and J.R. VanHoose's 16 points also figured heavily in the Marshall win. As a team, the Herd shot 61.7% from the field (37-of-60), and 47.6% from three-point range (10-of-21). With the win, Marshall improves to 8-6 overall (3-2 MAC), while Eastern Michigan falls to 5-11 overall (1-4 MAC).