Miles Hits Game Winner With :05 Left For 74-73 Win

Freshman guard Joe Miles didn't start against High Point on Tuesday night. Instead, Miles got a chance to watch the game before entering, and what a difference the move made. Miles hit a game-winning shot from the top of the key with just :05 left to edge Marshall past High Point, 74-73, at the Henderson Center...

That last shot was the culmination of a second half takeover by the freshman from Forestville, Maryland that featured a five-point flurry midway through the second half to give Marshall its first lead since early in the first half.

"Joe just looked crisp and we wanted to get him the ball at the end," said Marshall coach Ron Jirsa.

And The Herd needed every bit of help it could muster after a lackluster first half. After shooting out to a quick eight-point lead with 11:28 left (17-9), Marshall gave up a 10-4 run to the Panthers spurred by dual layups from Jerry Echenique.

Tre Whitted drove past High Point's Danny Gathings in The Herd's 74-73 win on Tuesday night.

A MU scoring drought over the last 4:08 of the first half enabled High Point to extend their lead at halftime to eight points, at 40-32.

"Coming into this game, we were 1-6 and not taking anything for granted," added Jirsa. "Tonight, we really had to execute."

Jirsa got the execution he wanted in the second half, but it took multiple tries before Marshall would get back in the game. Tre Whitted's dunk with 16:24 left inched The Herd back to within three points, 44-41. High Point answered with a 9-0 run to jump back out to a 53-41 lead, courtesy of a Zione White three with 14:55 left.

"Chip away, chip away, and keep playing hard," said Whitted of Marshall's second half performance.

Through the final 10 minutes of play, Marshall outrebounded High Point by an 18-5 margin. "That was important, because we had been getting our brains beat out on the boards all night," Jirsa commented.

"We got what coaches call 'happy'," described High Point coach Bart Lundy of the Panthers' second half lapses. "We lost our edge a little bit."

A.W. Hamilton hit a three with 7:36 left to get Marshall back within four, at 64-60. Guard Joe Miles went on a 5-0 run against the Panthers soon thereafter, and suddenly, Marshall was right back in the game only down one point, 69-68, with 3:01 left.

Hamilton would again hit a key shot, this one with just :30 left that gave Marshall the 71-72 lead. High Point's Jerry Echenique drove the baseline and made the layin with :16 left to push the Panthers back out to a one-point lead.

MU guard Joe Miles is hoisted by Tre Whitted after hitting the game-winning shot with just :05 left to give Marshall a 74-73 win and breaking a 5-game losing streak.

Coming out of a timeout, Marshall guard Joe Miles took the feed from A.W. Hamilton at the top of the key, pulled up and drained the game-winner with just :05 left on the clock to snap a five-game losing streak.

"Coach called for it to go to my side," Miles said of the game-winning basket. "Nobody switched, so I just shot it off."

High Point coach Bart Lundy saw it differently.

"He took the game away from us," Lundy said of Miles' performance in the second half. "I was surprised that, as a freshman, he was willing to step up and take over the game like that."

"I've been in that situation twice [this season], and I haven't capitalized," Miles smiled and said after the game. "When coach called my number, I'm just glad he had the confidence in me to take the shot."

Tre Whitted lead the Marshall scoring with 16 points, while Miles finished with 15. A.W. Hamilton and Mark Patton both finished with 12 points. Marshall shot just 36.4% (24-of-66) in the game, while High Point hit 41.5% (27-of-65). The Panthers had two players above the 20-point level in Zione White (22 points) and Jerry Echenique (21 points).

Despite being outrebounded by High Point by a 47-40 margin, Marshall made up for it by only committing 11 turnovers the entire game.

"For once, we got a pretty good break," MU guard A.W. Hamilton summed up. "Joe made a great shot, and it feels real good. It's about time something good happens to us."

The win snaps a five-game Marshall losing streak, and The Herd improve to a 2-6 overall record. High Point is now 3-8 with the loss. Next up for Marshall is a December 30 matchup with Xavier in Cincinnati, Ohio at 7:30pm.

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