Written by Justin Prince.
It was senior night inside the Cam Henderson Center Saturday night and it was one to remember.
The Thundering Herd jumped out to a 22-2 lead and never looked back in a 103-75 victory over Charlotte. It was the 20th win of the season for Marshall, which secured back-to-back 20 win seasons for the first time under coach Dan D’Antoni.
The Herd’s first 14 points were scored by Jon and Ot Elmore as the pair of brothers combined for four 3-pointers in the game’s opening minutes.
“Ot hit a couple of shots and made some really good passes,” D’Antoni said. “I wish I could have played them (Ot and Jon) together like that all year but it is what it is. I’m happy for the family, to get to see their sons play together, that will be a good memory for them always.”
“That was some of the most fun I’ve ever had,” Jon Elmore reiterated. “Just being out there with my brother, hitting shots, I’m gonna get teared up thinking about it. That’s definitely a great memory for me.”
The 49ers never really got into the flow of the game despite a 10-2 run late in the first half that cut the Marshall lead to 12, Charlotte could get no closer.
The Herd had four players score in double figures led by Jon Elmore’s 38. Elmore who went 0-5 from long range on Thursday against Old Dominion was on fire from downtown against the 49ers, making 9-12 from deep.
Freshman Darius George had a career high 13 points on a perfect 6-6 from the field.
“I wanted to make sure I played him as much as I could,” D’Antoni said. “I wanted to him to have the chance to get his confidence back. There are a lot of expectations for him in the future of our program. He’s an athletic player and is going to be a good one.”
The win moves Marshall to 11-5 in conference play and kept the Herd ahead of the University of Texas at San Antonio for fourth place in the league standings. The top four teams in the standings receive byes in the conference tournament next month, meaning the road to the championship is only three games instead of four..
“I’m going to enjoy this one tonight and will change gears about noon tomorrow,” D’Antoni said. “I try not to worry about the next week too far in advance. A lot of coaches say they turn the page immediately to the next game. But, that will age you. I’m aged enough, I don’t want to age too fast.”