DENTON, Texas – Sophomore guard Jon Elmore (Charleston, W.Va.) had career highs of eight assists and five rebounds while leading Marshall men’s basketball with 21 points in a 97-78 thumping of North Texas on Thursday night at The Super Pit.
With the wire-to-wire win, the Herd improved to 8-9, 4-0 in Conference USA, marking its best start to league play since going 4-0 in 2011-12. Marshall is one of two remaining teams unbeaten in C-USA, with UAB. It was the Herd’s first visit to Denton, as well as its first road win since last season at Southern Miss (Jan. 29, 2015). Marshall reached the 90-point mark for the fourth consecutive game; a first for the Herd since December 1996.
“We play like that and we’re pretty tough to beat,” Herd coach Dan D’Antoni said. “It’s our fourth game in a row that we’ve been up in the 90s. We’ve got to keep it going. Let’s enjoy what we did tonight but don’t celebrate; we’ve got a long way to go.”
Joining Elmore in double-figure scoring were junior guard Stevie Browning (Logan, W.Va.) with a career-high 19 points, senior forward James Kelly (Ann Arbor, Mich.) with 15 and redshirt freshman C.J. Burks (Martinsburg, W.Va.) with 10.
The Herd was lights-out from long range in the first half, sinking 10-of-18 threes, and reaching its largest halftime lead of the season (28), up 61-33. Marshall played much of the first period without Ryan Taylor (Indianapolis) and Kelly due to foul trouble, but the Herd didn’t miss a beat with nine of its 10 first-half participants reaching the scoreboard. Browning led Marshall with 13 points at the break, and Aleksandar Dozic (Podgorica, Montenegro) reached a career high of seven.
After a 10-0 run in the first part of the second half, Marshall reached its largest margin of the season (33 points), up 73-40 after an Elmore 3-pointer at 15:54. The Herd ran it up to 33 again at 8:08 after a 6-0 run, up 87-54.
With a final score of 97-78, Marshall picked up its school-record-tying fourth consecutive conference win by 18 or more points.
– School record: four consecutive 90-point conference games
– Tied school record: four consecutive conference wins by 18 or more points
– Largest lead (season): 33 points (twice)
– Largest halftime lead (season): 28 points (61-33)
– Stevie Browning: 19 points (career high)
– Aleksandar Dozic: seven points (career high)
– Jon Elmore: five rebounds (career high), eight assists (tied career high)
WITH THE WIN…
– The Herd tied its best start to Conference USA play (4-0 in 2011-12 and 2009-10)
– The Herd tied its longest win streak (regular-season, C-USA or postseason) since winning four in a row from March 3 to March 9, 2012
– The Herd tied its longest regular-season win streak since beginning the 2011-12 C-USA season at 4-0 (Jan. 4 to Jan. 14, 2012)
THE LAST TIME…
– The Herd scored 90 points or more in four or more consecutive games: four games in December 1996 under Greg White, vs. Morehead State (W, 115-93, Dec. 14), vs. West Virginia (L, 103-91, Dec. 17), vs. UNC Asheville (W, 109-82, Dec. 21), vs. UT-Chattanooga (W, 90-83, Dec. 23)
– The Herd began conference play with four or more wins: four games in January 2012, Conference USA under Tom Herrion, vs. UTEP (W, 76-60, Jan. 4), at Rice (W, 63-61, Jan. 7), at UAB (W, 61-59), vs. UCF (W, 65-64, Jan. 14)
– The Herd won on the road: Jan. 29, 2015, at Southern Miss (69-54)
Marshall will travel to Houston to face Rice on Saturday, Jan. 16, at 8 p.m. ET on American Sports Network. For the latest information about Marshall men’s basketball, follow @HerdMBB on Twitter.