Men’s basketball drops season opener


The Marshall University men’s basketball team lost Thursday in its season opener against the University of Tennessee, 84-74.

The Herd led 38-35 at halftime and opened the second half with a 13-0 run to go up by 16 with less than 15 minutes remaining in the contest.

Marshall, however, was undone by a subsequent 26-2 run by Tennessee, in which the Volunteers erased the 16-point deficit in less than four minutes of game action to take the lead 54-53 with 11:09 remaining.

Tennessee’s  run continued until the 9:21 mark when junior transfer guard Stevie Browning knocked down a jumper to cut the Volunteers’ lead to 61-55.

The Herd, however,  never got closer to recapturing the lead as it scored just four points over the next three and a half minutes, missing six of its next eight shots and committing two turnovers.

Browning and preseason all-conference selection Ryan Taylor led the Herd in scoring with 18 points apiece. Browning connected on six of his 16 shots, including 2-5 from 3-point range while also adding six rebounds and five assists.

Taylor combined his 18 points on 6-12 shooting with 11 rebounds to earn a double-double.

Miami transfer forward James Kelly joined Taylor with a double-double, scoring 14 points and grabbing 12 rebounds before fouling out.

Wings Justin Edmonds and Austin Loop also scored double digits with each tallying 11 points. However, the duo’s scoring efficiency was not as impressive, as the two combined to shoot 8-24 from the field, including 6-20 from 3.

As a team, the Herd shot just 36.5 percent for the game with nearly half of its shot attempts coming from 3-point range, where the Herd connected on just nine of 35 attempts.

Tennessee shot 40 percent from the field and 7-23 on 3s, but the Volunteers more than doubled the Herd’s output from the free throw, going 25-30 compared to the Herd’s 11-14.

Forward Armani Moore led the Volunteers in scoring with 20 points on 6-13 field goals and 7-11 from the free throw line while also adding eight rebounds.

Guards Robert Hubbs III and Kevin Punter each scored 19 points for Tennessee, with 17 of Punter’s scoring total coming in the second half.

Marshall falls to 0-1 on the season and will be back in action 7 p.m. Tuesday when it takes on Morehead State University in Morehead, Kentucky.