The Parthenon

Herd men’s basketball battles past FIU

Junior+Guard+Jon+Elmore+shoots+a+3-pointer+around+an+FIU+defender.+Elmore%27s+shooting+from+beyond+the+arc+is+a+staple+in+Marshall%27s+offense.+
Junior Guard Jon Elmore shoots a 3-pointer around an FIU defender. Elmore's shooting from beyond the arc is a staple in Marshall's offense.

Junior Guard Jon Elmore shoots a 3-pointer around an FIU defender. Elmore's shooting from beyond the arc is a staple in Marshall's offense.

Richard Crank

Richard Crank

Junior Guard Jon Elmore shoots a 3-pointer around an FIU defender. Elmore's shooting from beyond the arc is a staple in Marshall's offense.

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Marshall men’s basketball (16-8, 7-4 C-USA) edged the FIU Panthers (11-4, 5-7 C-USA) 76-66 Thursday night at the Cam Henderson Center.

“It was an ugly win,” junior guard Jon Elmore said.  “I thought we struggled a bit here and there, but we pieced together a win. I thought we played hard, defended solid and got out of there with a win.”

The trio of Elmore, junior guard C.J. Burks and junior forward Ajdin Penava led the Herd on offense. Elmore finished the game with 22 points, six rebounds and six assists. He made a season-high six threes. Burks tallied 16 points, with three assists and two steals, and Penava recorded his eleventh double-double of the season. He led the Herd in scoring with 25 points, while he registered 12 rebounds and five blocks.

“Penava is a competitor,” head coach Dan D’Antoni said. “He’s quiet, so you don’t realize it. He’s a competitor. He wants to be really good.”

“I think he had a heck of a game,” Elmore said. “He had a bunch of huge baskets down the stretch. He’s just good for us because he creates that mismatch. He’s a big man, but he moves like a guard.”

Penava still leads the nation in blocks, as he surpassed 100 blocks on the season against in Marshall’s victory.

“I haven’t really thought about (leading the nation in blocks) that much,” junior forward Ajdin Penava said. “I try just to focus on the next game. I just do what I can, and all those stats and stuff don’t really matter. The most important thing is that we get the win.”

The Herd committed 19 turnovers—its second-highest total of the season—but made up for it in shooting. Marshall finished shooting 48.3 percent (28-58) from the field, 33.3 percent (10-33) from three, and 71.4 percent (10-14) from the line.

“They kind of packed it back in on us and made us shoot a little bit,” Elmore said. “We knocked down some threes in the second half.”

Four FIU players scored in double-digits. Sophomore guard Trejon Jacob finished with 16 points and junior guards Josh Stamps, Eric Lockett and Brian Beard Jr. tallied 15, 12 and 11 points, respectively. Beard and Stamps contributed a combined 8 steals out of the Panthers’ team total of 11.

The Panthers, however, shot only 46.2 percent (12-26) at the line—contributing to their defeat.

“(Free throws) are something we work on all the time,” FIU head coach Anthony Evans said. “But, we just have to keep working on it. Hopefully, we’ll make them in the next game.”

Marshall plays its second-straight home game Saturday night against the FAU Owls.  The Owls travel to Huntington coming off a loss against WKU. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.

“Hopefully we can get a bunch of fans here in the Cam,” Elmore said. “Pack it up and get it loud in here again. Make it a tough environment, get another win and keep rolling.”

Courtney Andrews can be reached at [email protected]

 

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