Marshall Overpowers Ohio, 70-60

Senior guard Tre Whitted scored 19 points -all of which came in the second half- to spark the Herd to a 70-60 win over Ohio Wednesday evening at Henderson Center. With the win, Marshall improves to 5-8. Trailing by 12 at the half, 35-23, and then by 14, 43-29, with 13:41 to play, Marshall got itself back in the game with uncanny shooting from the perimeter...

MU rattled off nine straight points to cut the Bobcat lead to five, 43-38, over the next three minutes and 20 seconds, and the Herd was back in the contest. Trailing by eight, 46-38, with 9:29 to play, Whitted got the Herd going in a hurry with a dizzying shooting display. He knocked in a three to make the score 46-41, and then after a turnover by Ohio's Antonio Chatman, he knocked in another three to cut the Ohio lead to two, 46-44, with nine minutes to go. Darryl Merthie (Sanford, Fla.) then made a fast break layup off a long Bobcat rebound to tie the score at 46.

Chris Ross put up two of his 10 points over Ohio's Jerome Tillman in the second half Wednesday night at the Henderson Center. photo by Greg Perry/Herd Insider staff

OU's Bubba Walther hit a three for the visitors to put Ohio back in front, 49-46, but Whitted matched the Bobcat guard with another three to once again tie the game, 49-49. Both teams once again traded baskets to make the score 51-51, but Whitted put the Herd up for good with consecutive three pointers, both from NBA range at the top of the key, 57-51 with 6:22 to go. Ohio would get no closer than four points for the rest of the contest.

Marshall fired in 50% of its second half shots (15-30), and 50% of its field goals from beyond the arc (7-14), and outscored the Bobcats, 47-25, in the second period.

For the game, MU outscored the Ohio bench, 30-8, including a 30-0 bench advantage for the final 11 minutes.

Ohio jumped on the Herd early behind a solid first half effort and also capitalized on Marshall's inability to convert from the free throw line. MU was only 1-of-9 at the charity stripe in the opening stanza, and only made 11-of-26 for the entire game (42.3%). In the first half, the Bobcats shot 45.2% from the floor, 33.3% from three, and 50% from the free-throw line. OU also played a 2-3 zone defense for most of the night, and in the first half, confused the Herd into a 38.5% shooting percentage and 16.7% from three.

Tre Whitted and Mark Dorris put pressure on Ohio's Whitney Davis in the second half Wednesday night at the Henderson Center. photo by Greg Perry/Herd Insider staff

"It was a great finish," said Marshall head coach Ron Jirsa. "It certainly felt like a different finish with the margin. Tre (Whitted) got hot. I don't know if he got the defense going or if it was the defense that got him going. I liked our pluck. I know it is only two games but we have been playing very hard on defense.

"We needed to move some people around. We did a better job in the second half. There are sophisticated defense all around the country. Our players have to make quick adjustments against teams that play that zone and we made some adjustments in the second half in order to make some shots. We were able to solve it well enough to win.

"It's really special," said Whitted when asked about the win. "We haven't beaten OU since my freshman year. I told Coach MacKinnon yesterday that this was my last chance at them. It was a big win for us. Now we have a big game with George Washington coming up."

"You have to give Marshall a lot of credit," said Ohio coach Tim O'Shea. "We made mistakes, but they seized the moment. They won the game. Marshall upped their intensity and seized the victory. I have to give Ron (Jirsa) and his staff a lot of credit. We have a big conference game Saturday, and I hope this will help us get ready to play in terms of playing at a high level."

Whitted led all scorers with 19 points, all in the second half. Markel Humphrey added 15 points and nine rebounds, and Chris Ross tallied ten points.

Ohio guard Bubba Walther led the Bobcats with 18 points. Jerome Tillman added 16 points, while Leon Williams led all rebounders with 13.

Marshall returns to action Saturday evening at George Washington. Tip-off is set for 6 p.m., and can be seen live on CSTV.

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