Men Fall, Women Win For Marshall Basketball

The MU women's team continued an undefeated run in the fifth year of the 5th/3rd MU Classic Tournament in Huntington, W.Va. on Friday, beating Southern 61-50 in day one action. The women will face Robert Morris in the title game, thanks to the Colonials 74-73 win over Kent State. The men's team, however, lost to the Colonials men's team, blowing a 15-point lead to fall to 1-1 with a 73-69 loss.

Modupe Ishola led the women with a double-double, scoring 15 points and grabbing 12 rebounds. Kendra King chipped in 12 points and nine rebounds, while KaShawna Curry added 13 points and eight rebounds for the 2-0 Royce Chadwick coached Marshall women. The consolation game of the 5th/3rd MU Classic will tip off at 11:00 a.m. in the Cam Henderson Center on Saturday, with Southern (0-1) facing Kent State (0-1) of the Mid-American Conference. Marshall and Robert Morris University will meet 30 minutes after the conclusion of game one for the title game. Marshall has never lost a game in the 5th/3rd MU Classic, winning the first four titles and nine games in a row in the tourney.

Bridget Chacon looked for an outlet against Southern in the first round of the Fifth Third Classic on Friday. photos by Greg Perry/HI staff

The Marshall men fell to 1-1 with the loss to Robert Morris. Marshall led by 15 points with 10 minutes to play, and still had and 11 point lead with 5:02 left. The Herd even led by five with just over two minutes before the Colonials came back to take the game. Marshall had a tough time converting from the field and at the free throw line, making 38.7 percent of its shots (24-of-62), and only 3-of-24 from behind the three-point line (12.5 percent). At the free throw line, the Thundering Herd missed 17 shots, making 18-of-35 for a 51.4 percent clip. Marshall did outrebound Robert Morris, 52-39, but committed 22 turnovers, compared to 16 for the Colonials.

"We played poorly and shot poorly," said Marshall head coach Ron Jirsa. "Robert Morris made big shots at the end and we did not play with discipline at the end. Give Robert Morris credit. They made the tough shots at the end and we didn't have the discipline to answer. We took some bad shots in the second half, were not strong with the ball and did not communicate well. We had no sense of urgency. I didn't see that fire that you need to have against a team like Robert Morris."

Travis Aikens grabbed a rebound in the second half against Robert Morris.

"I am really proud of our effort," said Robert Morris coach Mark Schmidt. "We got off to a good start and hung in against a high level team. We got out to the early lead but then we got into foul trouble. We put some young guys in and they did a good job. In the second half we played some bad defense and got down about 13, but we showed a lot of toughness. A.J. Jackson was a force inside for us and we won the game on defense."

For Robert Morris, A.J. Jackson paced the Colonial effort with 30 points and 15 rebounds. Jeremy Chappell added 14 points, and Derek Coleman chipped in ten. Other double-digit scorers for Marshall were Chris Ross with a career-high 14 points, and Mark Dorris and Tre Whitted who each added ten. "They just played harder than us," said Ross. "They wanted the game more than we did."

The Marshall men will return to action on Thanksgiving night at midnight with a game versus the California Golden Bears in the first round of the Great Alaskan Shootout. The game will be televised on ESPN2 and heard on the Thundering Herd/ISP Sports Network, locally on WRVC 930 AM & WDGG 93.7 FM.

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