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Strong second half not enough for Herd in 82-68 loss

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Marshall’s junior forward,  Jay Johnson (3), at the Cam Henderson Center.

Marshall’s junior forward, Jay Johnson (3), at the Cam Henderson Center.

Lexi Browning

Lexi Browning

Marshall’s junior forward, Jay Johnson (3), at the Cam Henderson Center.

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Marshall University men’s basketball team dropped its ninth straight contest and the 15th of its last 16 games in an 82-68 loss Thursday to University of Texas-San Antonio in the Cam Henderson Center.

UTSA’s senior forward Jeromie Hill poured in a new career high of 36 points. Hill had 23 of his 36 points in the first half and tied the entire Thundering Herd team at intermission.

Herd sophomore forward Ryan Taylor said Hill was feeling good.

“I think he got a couple of layups and then stepped out and hit his first [three] so I guess he was feeling good,” Taylor said.

Energy sparked the second half when junior guard Justin Edmonds and senior center JP Kambola, led a 15-0 run and brought the score down to single digits with just over six minutes to play.

Kambola did not register a minute in the first half but finished with six points, five rebounds and two blocks in just 14 minutes before fouling out.

Kambola was suspected to be in Marshall head coach Dan D’Antoni’s doghouse before replacing senior forward Cheikh Sane, due to foul trouble.

“I don’t build doghouses,” D’Antoni said. “Nobody gets in the doghouse. I’m a coach, I don’t even know what a doghouse is.”

[Falling behind early] gets a little frustrating but, at the end of the day, that’s within us and we have to take care of it.”

— Justin Edmonds, junior guard for Marshall

Edmonds was subbed out of the game less than a minute before the Thundering Herd’s 15-point run was stunted. The Herd would not be able to chip into the deficit any further as Edmonds did not return to the game until the 49-second mark.

Fighting back after sluggish first halves has been a theme for Marshall so far this season.

“[Falling behind early] gets a little frustrating but, at the end of the day, that’s within us and we have to take care of it,” Edmonds said.

Edmonds was one of three Herd players in double digits with 12 points going 3-5 from behind the arc. Austin Loop also added 12 of his own going a perfect 7-7 from the free throw line and Ryan Taylor lead the Herd with a double-double of 21 points and 11 rebounds.

Freshman walk-on, point guard Gino Littles, helped the Roadrunners ice the game with a pair of clutch free throws down the stretch.

Littles played his way into the starting lineup and started the last 10 games for UTSA, accumulating a 6-4 record as a starter.

The Roadrunners are now 9-8 on the season and 3-3 in Conference USA. They travel to Western Kentucky to face the Hilltoppers Saturday.

Marshall fell to 4-15 and 0-6 in conference with the loss. The team will host University of Texas-El Paso Saturday in the Cam Henderson Center.

Adam Polsky can be contacted at [email protected] edu.

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