(WV Gazette Mail)
(WV Gazette Mail)

The Marshall Thundering Herd Basketball team took a road trip to Las Vegas this week to take part in the Global Sports Classic Invitational at Cox Pavilion.

Marshall’s first opponent was Wyoming. 7-4 going into the night, the Cowboys were coming off of a NCAA Tournament appearance where they lost in the first round to a very good Northern Iowa team. The Herd played this one as a clear underdog and surprised a lot of people with their 90-82 victory over the Cowboys. Senior forward James Kelly finished the night with a career-high 38 points and 13 rebounds. The 38 points he scored were the most for any Marshall player since DeAndre Kane had 40 against Tulsa in March of 2012, a game that went into 3OT in the Conference USA tournament. Kelly leads the conference in double-doubles with five on the year and has scored in double figures in all 12 games the Herd has played.

Coach Dan D’Antoni had some remarks following the game on Kelly and the Herd win. “He just has to understand he has to take over ball games. He’s capable of doing that. I think tonight he did it. All in all, a good victory for us in Vegas.”

The only other player with double digits against Wyoming was Sophomore point guard Jon Elmore with 13 points on the night. Marshall’s 10-2 run in the second half gave them a 56-52 lead that wouldn’t be given up the rest of the ball game. The Thundering Herd had their best free-throw shooting of the season, helping them pull ahead down the stretch. As a team, Marshall shot 19 of 22 (86.4%) from the line. The Herd also out-rebounded the Cowboys by a margin of 38-28.

The next night Marshall would go on to face Grand Canyon (10-2) in the Global Sports Classic Championship Game, and boy was it an exciting one. Junior Austin Loop led the Herd on the night with 20 points on 6-10 from the 3-pt line. Stevie Browning and James Kelly followed close behind with 17. The Antelopes took their largest lead of 15 on a 20-5 run with 5:37 left in the first half. Things weren’t looking good for Marshall. The Herd kept its composure, however, as they went on a 13-2 run to cut the Lopes lead to four. Grand Canyon led by seven at the half.

Marshall came out in the second half and fought as hard as they could to stay in the game. The Herd took a 55-53 lead with 12:37 remaining in the contest. It was their first lead since an old-fashioned three-point play to open up the game. Marshall led the Antelopes 81-77 with over a minute left to play, but it wouldn’t last long. A three-pointer by Joshua Braun brought the Herd lead down to one point with just under a minute to play. After a missed shot by the Herd, Grand Canyon had the chance to take the lead with 24 seconds left, and they would. Braun came in the clutch and hit another huge shot that would put his team up 83-81. Marshall would never recover. Grand Canyon would go on to win the championship 85-81.

The Herd (4-8) will face the #4 Maryland Terrapins on December 27th.

Casey covers Marshall Basketball for MFST. You can find him on twitter @wxmozz

 

https://i1.wp.com/www.myfantasysportstalk.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/a-41.jpg?fit=1024%2C683&ssl=1https://i1.wp.com/www.myfantasysportstalk.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/a-41.jpg?resize=150%2C150&ssl=1Casey MosrieAnalysisBasketballConference USANCAABNews and UpdatesRecent Posts#NCAAB,Austin Loop,conference usa basketball,grand canyon basketball,James Kelly,Marshall,marshall basketball,wyoming basketball  The Marshall Thundering Herd Basketball team took a road trip to Las Vegas this week to take part in the Global Sports Classic Invitational at Cox Pavilion. Marshall's first opponent was Wyoming. 7-4 going into the night, the Cowboys were coming off of a NCAA Tournament appearance where they lost...Why go anywhere else for sports and entertainment?