On the men's side, Marshall improved to 11-11 all-time at Ellis T. Johnson Arena in Morehead, Ky. but once again the Herd let a big lead slip away. This game, however, the Herd never gave up the lead, despite MSU hitting for 9-of-13 three-point shots in the second half. The Herd's men's team was led in scoring by senior forward Travis Aiken, who had 21 points against Morehead. Aikens leads the Herd in scoring, at 15.7 points per game, and rebounding at 6.3 per game. Sophomore Markel Humphrey scored 19 points while junior center Jean Francois Bro Grebe continued his recent shot blocking with three, officially, against Morehead. Bro Grebe added four points, nine rebounds and two assists to go with nearly a dozen altered shots in addition to the seven unofficial blocks courtside observers counted in the game.
Travis Aikens, seen here in the Robert Morris game, is the Herd's leader in scoring and rebounding this season.
Ohio comes into the contest 2-1 on the season, falling to Samford earlier this week, 80-68, after opening with wins over Marist (83-66) and Yale (73-65). The 'Cats lead the all-time series with the Herd by 48-43, and have dominated Marshall in the Convo, where MU is only 6-15 all-time. Ron Jirsa's Herd did win in Athens on February 29, 2004, when Marshall was a member of the Mid-American Conference. The Bobcats are led by guard Bubba Walther, who Marshall last saw playing at Akron before he transferred to OU, who is averaging 17 points per game. Samford was his first playing time this season. Also familiar to Herd fans from two seasons ago is center Leon Williams, 12 points per game, and senior guard Sonny Troutman, who averages nearly 16 points per game and scored 29 at Samford. Also in double figures is Whitney Davis (12.7) and Jermoe Tillman (10.3).
MU's only four-year senior, Tre Whitted, plays against Ohio in the 2003-04 season. Whitted is 2-3 all-time versus the Bobcats in his career.
Meanwhile back at the Cam Henderson Center, the Marshall's women's team will host the sixth "Jam The Cam" promotion, attempting to fill the building with a crowd nearing the 4,153 who saw the Herd fall on Wednesday to No. 1 Maryland 68-49. Tickets for "JTC" are only $1 at the door and two lucky winners will receiver tickets to the December 12 premiere of the "We Are Marshall" movie at the sold-out Keith Albee Theater, admittance to the pre-film reception at the Marshall Memorial Student Center and the post-film gala at the Big Sandy Superstores Arena.
Marshall is 5-2 on the season and opens Conference USA play against the Houston Cougars, who finished 12-17 last season and sixth in C-USA. The Cougars are making a Mountain State swing, losing at West Virginia on Thursday night by 73-47. The Herd is being led by 6-2 senior center Modupe Ishola, who is averaging 12.6 points and 8.4 rebounds per game. Sophmore point guard Meg Withrow is averaging 10.6 points and 3.1 assists per game, while freshman Alyssa Hammonds is averaging just below 10 point per outing and sophomore forward Kendra King is averaging eight rebounds and eight and one-half points per game.
Marshall's Meg Withrow drove on Maryland on Wednesday evening. The Nitro, W.Va. sophomore is averaging nearly 11 points and over three assists per game for the Herd. photo by Greg Perry/HI staff
Following Saturday's action, the men will travel to No. 12 (AP) Memphis for a Monday night game tipping at 8 p.m. (EST). The Tigers are 2-1 following a trip to the Maui Classic that included knocking off a ranked Kentucky team. The Tigers, who lost three players off last year's team to the NBA, start three sophomores and a true freshman. That game can be heard on the Thundering Herd/ISP Sports Network and WRVC 930 AM/WDGG 93.7 FM, The Dawg and will be the last game before finals for the men. Marshall returns home on Dec. 13 when the Herd hosts Wright State at 7 p.m.
The women's team will play a final game before finals on Tuesday at the Cam Henderson Center when another Atlantic Coast Conference team comes to town. The Virginia Cavaliers will be the opponent and the Wahoos return nine letter winners and four starters from a 20-12 club in 2005-06. UVA was only ninth in the ACC, however, finishing 5-9 in league play. Virginia leads the all-time series with Marshall 2-0 and beat the Herd in Charlottesville last season by 67-35. MU trailed 26-19 at the half, but saw UVA shoot out ot a 16-2 run to put the game away early in the second half. The Cavs out-rebounded the Herd 44-29 and took 73 shots to just 40 for Marshall as MU turned the ball over 22 times, leading to 27 points for UVA.