Western Kentucky guard Josh Anderson (4) tries to get past Marshall guard Rondale Watson (23) during the first half of the Conference USA Men's Basketball Championship Game in Frisco, Texas, Saturday, March 10, 2018. (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)

Marshall ends 31-year NCAA drought with C-USA title

March 10, 2018 - 10:46 pm

FRISCO, Texas (AP) — Jon Elmore scored 20 of his 27 points after halftime, including 11 in a row in a span of just over two minutes, and Marshall is going to its first NCAA Tournament since 1987 after a 67-66 win over Western Kentucky in the Conference USA championship game on Saturday night.

The Thundering Herd (24-10) held on to end their 31-year NCAA drought after WKU scored the game's last 11 points before missing two shots in the final 20 seconds. Jannson Williams got the final rebound and managed to call timeout while falling to the court with 7.3 seconds left.

Marshall had to inbound the ball twice but the Hilltoppers (24-10) never got the ball back.

After losing in the C-USA title game last season, Elmore kept hitting long 3s in the second half this time — he made six of his seven 3s after the break. But the Herd didn't score again after Elmore's last 3 with 3:40 left.

Ajdin Penava added 16 points and nine rebounds for Marshall, which went into the tournament as the No. 4 seed.

Justin Johnson led WKU with 21 points and 12 rebounds, while Josh Anderson and Lamonte Bearden both had 13 points.


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