"We shoot 60% and get beat," Marshall coach Greg White summed up afterward. "That's just hard to imagine."
It was a battle of the two teams' respective stars, CMU's Webber and Marshall's Tamar Slay. Oddly enough, both players scored an identical number of points -27- as the game was really determined by turnovers and offensive rebounding.
The Chippewas eked out a slim 45-41 lead at the half, before either Webber or Slay turned up the heat.
In the second half, however, both players went on veritable shooting sprees -Webber hit 17 consecutive points, Slay hit three consecutive three-pointers- as Central Michigan gradually pulled away from the Herd. When all was said and done, the Chippewas were ahead by as many as 10 points at 81-71 with 3:44 remaining.
"They made the plays when they had to make them, late," MU coach White added.
Marshall's Tamar Slay fouled out with 1:06 left in the game, and the plug appeared to have been pulled on the Herd. However, MU's Monty Wright hit a three-pointer with only 28 seconds remaining to give Marshall one last hope, closing the gap to only five at 85-80. The Chippewas hit three of six free throws in the remaining 28 seconds to seal the final score at 88-84.
"We gave up way too many three-point shots tonight," added MU coach Greg White. "We had a hand in his (Webber's) face on most of those shots, and he knocked them down."
Even though the Herd shot an impressive 60% from the field, Marshall's downfall came at the hands of turnovers that CMU converted into (mainly David Webber) baskets in the second half. Marshall's 20 turnovers paled in comparison to CMU's 14 for the game, while the Herd was also outrebounded on the offensive glass, 9-4, by Central Michigan.
"You have 10 turnovers out of your starting one and two guards, that's just too many turnovers," White added.
Tamar Slay led all Marshall scorers with his second consecutive 27-point performance (the other came Saturday night against Eastern Michigan). J.R. VanHoose added 14 points, 6 rebounds; Latece Williams had 13 points. Central Michigan's Webber had 27 points as well, and was joined by teammates J.R. Wallace (18) and Whitney Robinson (14) in double figures.
Marshall's record now falls to 8-7 overall, and an even 3-3 in MAC play. The Herd faces MAC East opponent Buffalo on Saturday night at the Henderson Center in Huntington.