NORFOLK, Va. — Jarrod West was open on the Marshall Thundering Herd's final possession Thursday night and swished a corner 3-point shot with two seconds left in a 70-67 victory over Old Dominion University.
The West shot ended a hectic final few minutes and a Conference USA men's basketball game in the Ted Constant Convocation Center with a crowd of 6,153 spectators that had 17 lead changes and was tied 12 times. The teams exchanged leads 16 times alone in the second period before Jon Elmore's drive for a basket put Marshall ahead, 67-65, with 2:31 left to play.
Ahmad Caver of the Monarchs missed two free throw attempts with 48 seconds left and Aaron Carver was fouled after grabbing the rebound of Caver's second miss. Carver misfired on the front end of a one-and-one free throw opportunity and the rebound went out of bounds with 44 seconds remaining.
ODU retained possession and B.J. Stith, a 6-foot-5 senior guard for ODU who pumped in 27 points, missed a shot that was rebounded by Jason Wade with 38 seconds remaining. Stith missed again and Carver put the rebound in for the final tie, 67-67, and only 23 seconds to go.
Elmore passed the ball to West on the left side and the sophomore guard from Clarksburg, West Virginia, sank the winner. Xavier Green's 3-point try for Old Dominion missed with one second left.
"Jarrod works every day on that corner shot," Marshall head coach Dan D'Antoni said. "He had a heck of a game and this was one of his better games."
Elmore broke out of a scoring slump with 20 points and completed a double-double with 10 assists. The senior point guard from Charleston moved past Houston Rockets head coach Mike D'Antoni into second place for career assists at Marshall with 669. He's also second on the conference all-time list.
Taevion Kinsey appeared in the Marshall starting lineup
for the first time as a power forward and the 6-foot-5 freshman from Columbus was on the court for 35 of the 40 minutes. He scored 13, snagged seven rebounds, dished three assists, blocked three shots and made one steal.
West followed with 1 2 points and made four of his five 3-point attempts. Sophomore forward Jannson Williams tossed in 10 points.
Marshall (8-6, 1-0 C-USA) used a nine-point run to go up 22-20 at 9:30 of the opening period and had a 36-32 halftime advantage. Elmore's lob to Kinsey for a dunk gave Marshall a 38-32 edge in the first minute of the second half and the teams went back and forth for the rest of the night.
The Herd hit 52.7 percent of its shots against an ODU defense that was second in the nation for field goal percentage defense at 35.2. The Herd had 18 assists on its 29 field goals.
"We got the athletic ball going and when we do that we're pretty good," D'Antoni said.
Old Dominion (10-4, 0-1) lost for the first time in eight home games. Caver supported Stith with 12 points and Carver collected 10 rebounds.
Marshall came in allowing opponents to shoot 46.4 percent and averaging allowing 81.7 points. The Monarchs hit 44.8 percent of their field goal attempts.
The Herd's extended fivegame road swing moves to Charlotte, North Carolina, for a 4 p.m. Saturday clash. Western Kentucky (8-6, 1-0) won Thursday at Charlotte, 68-50. The 49ers are 3-9 overall and 0-1 in C-USA.
MARSHALL (8-6, 1-0) at CHARLOTTE (3-9, 0-1)
WHEN: 4 p.m. Saturday
WHERE: Halton Arena, Charlotte, N.C.
RADIO: WDGG 93.7-FM, ESPN 94.1-FM and 930-AM