Marshall Dries Up, Loses to KSU 79-57

"It seemed like there was a lid on the rim," summed up Marshall assistant coach Jeff Boals. He was right. Marshall fell apart in the second half of the MAC Tournament quarterfinals, and Kent State waltzed away with the easy win, 79-57, at Cleveland's Gund Arena on Thursday.

No kidding. Marshall played KSU pretty well in the first half, hitting 57%, which enabled the Herd to come back from an initial 13-3 deficit early in the game. Marshall made 6-of-7 three-pointers to shoot out to a 34-26 lead on the Flashes. Kent State cut that lead down and enjoyed a two-point lead at the half, 36-34.

"It was one of those second halves you think of as a nightmare," Boals continued.

Again, no kidding.

The Golden Flashes went on the first of two runs, a 7-2 one over the second half's first four minutes. The second run was the most deadly for Marshall, and 21% shooting was just the statisitical representation of the anomaly. The baskets were literally closed for the Herd, and Kent State reeled off 23 consecutive points over a span of 8:02 before Marshall finally got a basket to fall.

KSU's Antonio Gates hit a jumper, two free throws, as well as a crowd-pleasing dunk to spur the rally on. Monty Wright's three-pointer with 2:53 remaining mercifully ended the uncanny drought for the Herd. Marshall only connected on 4-of-19 shots in the second half.

But by then, the game was all about Kent State and their 74-51 lead.

Marshall scored just 23 points in the second half, shooting a dismal 21% ( 4-of-19). Kent State comparatively shot the lights out at The Gund. Marshall's Ron Blackshear hit 10 points, as did Marvin Black, to lead the team. KSU's Antonio Gates did 21 points worth of damage to lead the scoring for the Flashes, while Eric Haut's 13 points figured heavily in the MAC Tournament quarterfinal win.

Marshall finishes the season with a 14-15 overall record. Kent State advances on to play the winner of the Miami-Ohio and Ohio Bobcats matchup being played on Thursday afternoon.

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