The Marshall Thundering Herd started the season 6-0 at home, and were sitting at 7-3 on the season as they took on their regional and old conference foe, the Ohio Bobcats. The Bobcats were coming off an 89-84 win over the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers.
The game started off even as the two teams traded blows before Ohio made a little run early to go up 18-13 on a Jason Carter layup. It didn’t take long for Marshall to battle back into the game and then go on a run of their own. CJ Burks got hot for the ‘Herd and helped start the rally that gave Marshall the lead, while Ajdin Penava hit a layup, three and then two free throws to put them up 42-29 with 3:08 left in the first half. A couple of Jordan Dartis threes, as the two teams closed the half, made it a little more respectable at 46-37 at intermission.
Dartis continued the hot shooting and with the help of 4 of his shots from beyond the arc, by first TV timeout of the second half the Bobcats were up 54-51. The Bobcats then held a slim lead for most of the second half before Marshall was finally able to recapture the lead on a Burks layup with 5:17 left.
Dartis and Burks went toe to toe before Ajdin Penava made his presence felt and he and Dartis began trading scores down the stretch. A Kevin Mickle layup tied it at 90 and the two teams headed to overtime.
Freshman Tayvion Kirk struck first in OT, knocking down a couple of three throws. Marshall answered immediately on a Milan Mijovic layup. The Bobcats then went cold, finally getting a Mickle free throw with 37 second left. A Kirk three with 17 seconds left made things interesting, as it closed the gap to 97-96. Jon Elmore knocked down both FTs for Marshall, giving the Bobcats a final shot to tie, but it was not the Bobcats’ night and they dropped the game, 99-96.
Jordan Dartis led the Bobcats with 27 points and was 7-17 from beyond the arch. Kevin Mickle added 21 off the bench, and 8 rebounds. Mickle, a FAU transfer, could play huge role for the Bobcats in conference play. Kirk ended with 18 on 7-14 shooting.
Ajdin Penava had a monster game for the Thundering Herd. The 6’9 junior from Sarajevo nearly had a big man triple double, with 33 points, 15 rebounds and 9 blocks. He added 3 steals and was 10-13 from the floor and a Shaqesque 10-11 from the line. C.J. Burks added 31 and Jon Elmore chipped in 20 while going 10-10 from the line.
Ohio drops to 5-5 and faces Prairie View on the 20th.