Marshall men’s basketball begins conference tourney action

The Marshall University men’s basketball team starts its conference tournament Thursday as it takes on the University of Texas at El Paso.

The third-seeded Herd secured a first-round bye due to its conference record.

The Miners defeated Florida International University Wednesday to advance to the quarterfinals against the Herd.

This will be Marshall’s first game since its Senior Night victory against the University of Southern Mississippi where junior guard Austin Loop hit the game-winning shot as time expired.

Marshall junior guard Stevie Browning said despite the team being down 54-37 at halftime, the Herd knew it still had a shot at winning the game.

“We went into halftime and we knew this was a must win game and dialed in after halftime,” Browning said.

Senior guard Justin Edmonds said it was important for the team not to lose its last game of the regular season.

“We wanted to end the season on a strong note,” Edmonds said. “When it came down to it, it was us trusting each other and fighting for each other.”

Edmonds said the way in which the team won provided the Herd with a huge confidence booster, which he hopes will carry over to the tournament.

“I think we will play great and have a good team game,” Edmonds said. “We just need to finish the game strong and not lose focus.”

Tip-off for Thursday’s game is set for 9:30 p.m. at Bartow Arena in Birmingham, Alabama.

Christian Hisman can be contacted at [email protected]