Basketball

Marshall Senior Night For Game 31 Of The Season Versus the Mean Green of North Texas

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GAME 31: NORTH TEXAS (8-21, 2-15 C-USA) AT MARSHALL (16-14, 9-8 C-USA)
Saturday, March 4, 7 p.m. ET
Huntington, W.Va., Cam Henderson Center (9,048)

 HUNTINGTON – The Marshall men’s basketball team will play its final game of the regular season when it welcomes North Texas. It will also mark the final home game of Ryan Taylor, Stevie Browning, and Austin Loop’s careers. The trio has scored 3,600 points, pulled down 1,400 rebounds and dished out 570 assists. It consists of Oscar Robertson National Player of the Week award winner, the program’s all-time 3-point leader and a player that has made it on Sports Center’s Top 10 plays twice in two years.

In addition to coverage from @HerdMBB on Twitter and Instagram, the game can be found on the Thundering Herd IMG Sports Network with Steve Cotton doing play-by-play and Woody Woodrum handling the color analysis. The game is heard on flagship stations ESPN Huntington 94.1 FM and AM 930 and The Dawg, 93.7 FM. Live stats will be available through HerdZone.com. ESPN Huntington’s Paul Swann and Woodrum will have a pre-game show airing on the flagship stations at 5:30 p.m., then take your calls after the network signs off, and Swann will tweet scoring out all during the game.

HAVE YOU HERD
Egor Koulechov’s 3-pointer in the dying seconds of the game sent the Rice Owls past the Marshall men’s basketball team, 89-88, Thursday evening at the Cam Henderson Center. With the loss, Marshall lost against Rice for the first time since a 60-59 defeat against the Owls on March 11, 2009, in the first round of the Conference USA tournament.

Jon Elmore’s 27 points leave him only nine points shy of reaching 1,000 career points, becoming the 52nd scorer with 1,000-or-more in MU history. Elmore led the team in points for the 14th time this season and in assists (10) for the 22nd time this season. He recorded his seventh double-double this season. Ryan Taylor’s 13 points and 10 rebounds collected his 11th double-double of the season and the 38th of his career, both of which lead Marshall and C-USA. It was the second consecutive game where two Marshall players collected double-doubles.

SCOUTING THE MEAN GREEN
North Texas men’s basketball is 0-15 this season when scoring 70-points or less. The Mean Green have earned all eight wins (8-7) by scoring 70 or more, including the most recent against UTSA (83-73) on Feb. 18. Three of those seven losses when scoring 70-plus were by single digits against Sam Houston State (76-70), Charlotte (82-81), and UTEP (77-71 OT).  The Mean Green are tied for 14th in the Conference USA standings at 2-15 with one game remaining. North Texas went 4-24, 1-15 in the first season at the Sun Belt Conference in 2000-01 and was 2-13 in 2002-03.

North Texas responded at the free throw line going 18-for-25 (72 percent) against UTSA. In the eight wins, North Texas is shooting 72.4 percent and is 1-15 when they shoot less than 70 percent from the free throw line. The Mean Green have seven losses by single digits and against UTEP it was the seventh time that missed free throws have been greater than the difference in the final score. North Texas went 11-for-18 (61.1 percent) against LA Tech. The Mean Green went 7-for-12 (58.3 percent) against Southern Miss.

WHO TO KNOW
North Texas freshman guard A.J. Lawson leads Conference USA in scoring among freshman players at 10.9 points per game and has scored 317 total points. North Texas men’s basketball has earned five Conference USA Freshman of the Week awards, including four weeks in a row. Freshman guard A.J. Lawson has earned three awards (Dec. 19, Feb. 6, Feb. 27) and classmate Ryan Woolridge has picked up two weekly honors (Feb. 13, Feb. 20).

Lawson recently earned his third weekly honor after averaging 16 points per game and 8.5 rebounds per game last week. Lawson leads the team in scoring at 11.2 points per game and Woolridge is fourth on the team at 9.6 points per game. North Texas is already eliminated from the C-USA Tournament next week, along with Florida Atlantic.

MUBSKB Senior Day 2017

For Marshall, it will also be “Senior Night” for Austin Loop of South Webster, Ohio, who sat out his first year, then scored just 41 points as a redshirt frosh on his way to 1,041 points currently. He is the all-time leader in Marshall history in threes shot (675) and made (276). Ryan Taylor of Indianapolis, Ind., was a prop originally recruited by former coach Tom Herrion who is top 20 all-time in most statistical categories. Taylor is a Top 20 leader in games played, points, field goals attempted-made, rebounds, blocks, assists and steals. Stevie Browning is from Logan, W.Va., a transfer from the Division II Mountain East Conference member Fairmont State, where he scored 726 points in two years. With 876 points in two years at MU, Browning has scored 1,602 in his 4-years of basketball at the college level.

SERIES HISTORY
Marshall will meet North Texas for the fifth contest between the two sides. Marshall leads the series, 3-1. Sophomore guard Jon Elmore 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 in Marshall’s win last season at The Super Pit. Joining Elmore in double-figure scoring were junior guard Browning with a career-high 19 points, graduate forward James Kelly with 15 points and guard C.J. Burks with 10 points.

About Woody Woodrum

Senior Editor and columnist/writer for Herd Insider since 2003, with Kindred Communications on radio for Marshall football/men's basketball pregame and postgame shows since 1996 and with First Sentry Bank Sportsline (Also Scott on Sports, Sideline Sports and Herd Insider Sportsline) since 1997. Married to Liz (12-22-1990) and one son, Tre' (11-7-1997). National Sportswriters & Sportscasters West Virginia Broadcaster of the Year winner for radio, 2000; won W.Va. Broadcasters Best Talk Show in 2013 with co-host Paul Swann and W.Va. Broadcasters Best Play-by-Play in 2015 with Jason Toy (Huntington at South Charleston, state AAA semifinals). Member of (College) Football Writers Association of America, (College) Basketball Writers Association of America and National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association. Color commentator for Marshall football (1999-2000), for Marshall basketball (2004-2016) and Marshall baseball (2004-2016). Color for high school football at Spring Valley (1999-2008), Cabell Midland (2009-2012) and Huntington (W.Va.) High School (2013-2016).

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