Morehead State vs Marshall Preview and Prediction
Morehead State vs Marshall Preview
Morehead State men’s basketball (3-5) is set for its annual matchup with regional rival Marshall (5-4). The teams will tip-off at 7 p.m. ET Monday at the Cam Henderson Center in West Virginia.
The Eagles have been idle since Nov. 30 against Ohio-Chillicothe, while in that time frame Marshall has played three times and dropped all three.
Get to know Marshall
The Thundering Herd fell in overtime 75-74, despite a 21-point second-half comeback against Toledo Saturday (Dec. 8). Senior guard Rondale Watson had 14 points and 10 rebounds in the contest for the first double-double of his career. Redshirt freshman Iran Bennett had three blocks and three steals, both career-highs.
The Herd has had a 20-point scorer in eight of its nine games. Senior guard Jon Elmore has scored 20 or more points in six games this season.
Senior guard C.J. Burks is the only player on the team to score in double-figures every game this season, including four games with 20 or more points.
Saturday’s loss to Toledo was Herd’s first loss at home and first loss when outscoring its opponent in the paint of the season.
Get to know Morehead State
Senior guard A.J. Hicks ranks second in the OVC with 5.2 assists per game. Hicks has at least five assists in five of the eight games this season and has 18 career games with five or more assists. To put it in perspective, Hicks’ assists have been responsible for 30 percent of Morehead State’s points in 2018-19.
Morehead State ranks first in the Ohio Valley Conference in offensive rebounds. The Eagles pull down 14.6 boards off the offensive glass. The rebounds lead to an average of 13.8 second-chance points per outing.
The Eagles has hit at least one three-pointer in 380 consecutive games, dating back to 2007 when the Eagles were held without a made one from beyond the arc against Jacksonville State.
Morehead State has used the same starting five (A.J. Hicks, De’von Cooper, Jordan Walker, Lamontray Harris and Malek Green) in all eight games this season. Last season, that combo started two games with both being losses. In 2017-18, MSU used 10 different starting fives with the the most used lineup only starting nine games together.
Marshall leads the all-time series over Morehead State 52-47, but the Eagles have taken four of the last five meetings from the Herd.
For many seasons, Morehead State and Marshall have played for the Ellis Johnson Trophy. Ellis Johnson was a coach at both institutions with MSU’s arena named after him. Marshall holds a slight 52-47 edge in the series, which began in 1939-40, but the Eagles claimed an 86-83 thriller over the eventual NCAA Tournament ‘Herd squad on Nov. 16, 2017. MSU’s last win in the Henderson Center was Nov. 26, 2014 – 77-68.
LINE: -13 Marshall
Marshall has been on a three-game slide and is looking to rebound against their regional rival.
The Eagles haven’t fared well against solid competition this season, but in a rivalry setting like this, a close game is typically in store.
I like the Thundering Herd to win the game outright, but I wouldn’t lay double-digit points if I were betting this game.
Marshall 78 Morehead State 70