Herd drops game against rival Ohio, falls to 0-4

The Marshall University’s men’s basketball team fell to 0-4 after its 85-70 loss Tuesday to Ohio University.

The Herd started off the game strong and went into halftime tied with the Bobcats, 36-36. Senior forward James Kelly poured in 12 points in the first half, including the first nine points of the game for Marshall.

However, the second half was a different story as the team shot just over 38 percent from the field and 22.2 percent from 3-point range in the final two quarters.

In contrast to Marshall’s subpar shooting, the Bobcats shot 56.3 percent from the field after halftime to go along with 16 free throw attempts.

Marshall head coach Dan D’antoni said he hopes challenging his young team will make it more competitive going forward.

D’Antoni said his inexperienced team began playing sloppy during the final 10 minutes, which cost the Herd the game.

“We got to figure out how to win,” D’Antoni said. “This loss is on us. We stopped ourselves. Once we get them all on the same page, we will see if we can make progress. It’s a young team.”

Freshman guard C.J. Burks, who was named Conference USA Co-Freshman of the Week Monday, led the Herd with 20 points, shooting 9-17 from the field. While Burks was able to get his points, he said overall Ohio played a lot better than he expected. However, Burks said he thinks his team is a work in progress and will improve as the season goes on.

“The first half we played with energy,” Burks said. “The the second half we lost our energy.”

Junior forward Ryan Taylor, who totaled eight points on 3-9 shooting to go along with eight rebounds, five assists and five turnovers,  said the team has to keep working and sticking to D’Antoni’s game plan.

“We took some tough shots toward the end trying to put it on our back instead of playing team ball,” Taylor said. “We just gotta use our team and our teammates around us. We all can make shots, and we all can score the ball.”

The Herd managed just four assists in the second half and 11 for the entire game.

Burks and Kelly, who finished the night with 18 points on 7-15 from the field, were the only Herd players to eclipse double digits.

Ohio was led by guard Jaaron Simmons who poured in 25 points, grabbed five rebounds and dished six assists. Forward Kenny Kaminski scored 15 points and center Antionio Campbell pulled down 15 rebounds. 

Marshall’s next game is set for 7 p.m. Friday at the Cam Henderson Center against the University of Akron. 

Imani Spradley can be contacted at [email protected]