Burks, Herd sweep Rice, North Texas

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Burks, Herd sweep Rice, North Texas

Marshall guard C.J. Burks (14) drives past FIU guard Eric Lockett in a game during the 2017-18 season.

Marshall guard C.J. Burks (14) drives past FIU guard Eric Lockett in a game during the 2017-18 season.

Richard Crank

Marshall guard C.J. Burks (14) drives past FIU guard Eric Lockett in a game during the 2017-18 season.

Richard Crank

Richard Crank

Marshall guard C.J. Burks (14) drives past FIU guard Eric Lockett in a game during the 2017-18 season.

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Marshall men’s basketball clinched two road wins this past weekend in Texas against Rice and North Texas. The Herd improved to 19-8 overall and 10-4 in conference play following the sweep of the Texas schools.

Junior guard C.J. Burks influenced both Herd victories. In Thursday night’s win agaisnt Rice, he scored a career-high 36 points and registered eight rebounds, boosting the Herd to a 93-80 victory. Against North Texas Saturday evening, Burks went coast-to-coast on the final possession of the game to score the winning bucket off of a UNT goaltend with 0.3 seconds left on the clock. Marshall won, 74-72.

“The final play didn’t go according to plan, but we adjusted on the fly,” Burks said. “We knew time was running out on the clock, so I got the ball and used my speed and ball-handling to get the bucket.”

“We knew we only had five seconds left and knew C.J. is the only one who could get down there that quickly,” head coach Dan D’Antoni said. “Jon did a nice job finding him the ball. C.J. did his part to get down the court and it was a heck of a job. Those guys played hard. It was a good win for us and helps us hold the four seed.”

Along with the game-winner, Burks scored a game-high 26 points. Junior guard Jon Elmore added 16 points, a team-high eight rebounds and five assists. North Texas sophomore guards Ryan Woolridge and Roosevelt Smart had 25 and 20 points, respectively.

Against Rice, Burks was nearly perfect from three (6-of-7) and was 4-for-4 from the free-throw line. He also shot 68.4 percent (13-of-19) from the field. Elmore added 28 points and made five three-pointers. Junior forward Ajdin Penava tallied 14 points and 7 rebounds. Penava had four blocks in each contest. With 114 total blocks this season, he continues to lead the nation in the category.

Owls freshman forward Malik Osborne had a double-double with 22 points and 13 rebounds, while junior guard Connor Cashaw added 24 points.

Marshall returns to the Henderson Center this weekend for its final home stretch of the season—match ups against Old Dominion and Charlotte.

“Hopefully, we can get a good crowd next weekend,” D’Antoni said.

Courtney Andrews can be contacted at [email protected]

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