Boys Basketball: Marshall strikes late, downs Young in OT
Updated: January 18, 2012 10:05PM
The game wasn’t looking good for Marshall, but after a few big steals and even bigger shots late, the No. 14 Commandos outlasted No. 15 Young 79-75 in a thriller Wednesday at Young. The win gave Marshall sole possession of first place in the Red-West with two games remaining.
It was an uphill battle for Marshall who faced an imposing front line of Young led by 6-11 center Jahlil Okafor. The Commandos (17-4, 7-0) trailed 69-61 with 2:14 remaining in regulation, but staged a furious rally forcing three consecutive turnovers that resulted in a three-point basket by Derrick Miles, and a three-point basket by Milton Doyle and a 15-foot, pull-up jumper by Doyle that sent the game into overtime.
In overtime, a three-point play by Cintron Miller and two freethrows by Korbin McClain triggered a 5-0 spurt and put Marshall up for good 74-69 with 1:58 remaining.
The Dolphins (8-6, 4-2) cut the lead to 74-73 on a jumper by Mike Reynolds, but after Doyle hit another shot, McClain sank one of two freethrows, and Doyle closed it out with two freethrows with 10.3 seconds remaining.
Marshall coach Henry Cotton said it was a gut-check win for the team.
“This says a lot about the team that we have. There was no quit, no panic, and we got great leadership from out two seniors, Doyle and McClain,” said Cotton.
McClain said it was continuous ball pressure and some calming words from Cotton that got them back in the game. “We knew in order for us to have a chance, we had to pressure the perimeter and not allow them to get the ball to the big fella and keep attacking them in the open court,” said McClain. “Coach told us that he was proud of the way we fought to get back in the game. Then he told Milton and I to do what seniors do and bring it home.”
Doyle battled Okafor most of the evening despite giving up almost six inches and 60 pounds.
“I knew I was not going to stop him. I just wanted to make him work,” said Doyle. “He still got his, but we got the win.”
Doyle led Marshall with 32 points, McClain and Cris Craig had 15 points each and Miller and Miles each scored nine.
Okafor led all scorers with 36 points, 12 rebounds and six blocks and Paul White added 12.
Young coach Tyrone Slaughter said in order for us to win we had to handle their pressure and get the ball down to the big guy.
“We did that for most of the game,” said Slaughter.