Dayton –- If you wanted rhythm tonight you had to go to a jazz club, because with 50 fouls called on Wright State and Marshall leading to 64 free throws, the teams could not get into any kind of rhythm or flow in this game.
In between standing around and watching foul shots Wright State managed to pull out a win 77-70 against a pesky Marshall team in this free throw shooting contest.
For the first seven minutes of the game Wright State looked a little nervous as they missed shots and turned the ball over four times in the first four minutes. At the same time some hot Marshall 3-point shooting including two by Taureen Marshall propelled the Thundering Herd to an 18-11 lead, which was their largest of the game.
Timely foul shooting and tough defense allowed Wright State to finally tie the game 21-21 with 5:15 left in the half when Todd Brown hit a short jump shot which brought the crowd of 4113 alive at Wright State’s Nutter Center.
With just three seconds to go in the first half and the Raiders leading 28-26, Vaughn Duggins fed a pass to Todd Brown who sunk a 3-pointer to give Wright State a 31-26 halftime lead.
Raider coach Brad Brownell thought his team showed a lot of character even though they were a little cold early on.
“We were a little edgy early and we probably quick-shot a little bit. We looked like a team that maybe hadn’t played offensively and been in game situations, but as the game wore on we looked a lot better,” said Brownell.
Aside from standing around during foul shots, at the 16:51 mark in the first half the players stood around for three minutes as the officials figured out the basket interference called on Wright State on a 3-point shot by J.F. Bro Grebe. As it was explained, that means a Raider player hit the basket before the shot causing it to sway, which interfered with Bro Grebe’s shot.
It took just nine seconds into the second half for the first foul to be called on Marshall’s Tyler Wilkenson. The Raiders got the ball back and Scottie Wilson sunk a short jump shot as the Raiders went up by seven points at 33-26.
A minute later Marshall’s Markel Humphrey buried a 3-pointer to cut it to a four point Raider lead at 33-29 and that is as close the Herd would get the rest of the game.
Marshall made five runs including three in the last three minutes of the game to cut the Wright State lead to five points, but each time the Raiders would respond with an offensive outburst to push open the lead back up. The last run was with just 27 seconds and the Raiders leading 75-67. Marshall’s Marshall ( I like the sound of that) hit a 3-pointer to get it to 75-70.
Marshall’s Adam Williams fouled Duggins with 18 seconds remaining and he sunk both free throws get the final score to 77-70.
“Anytime we tried to crawl back into the game they would make big plays. That is what you do when you are at home and you have to try to keep that from happening on the road,” explained Marshall coach Donnie Jones.
Brown led the Raiders and all scorers with 23 points and Duggins scored 20 points.
For Marshall Mark Dorris scored 20 points and Marshall chipped in 15 points.
-The all-time series between Marshall and Wright State is tied 1-1.
-During the game an enterprising father trying to save $15 sent his very young son over to Dayton Daily news writer Marc Katz to ask him in a sweet voice for his media guide. For the record, Marc hung tough and refused to hand it over.
-Marshall plays next on Saturday at home against nearby Morehead State at 8 pm.
-Wright State plays next on Saturday at Marist at 7:30 pm.