Marshall victim of poor shooting in 73-69 loss to Colonials

Published 12:00 am Sunday, December 3, 2006

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – There was an old movie called, “The Gang That Couldn’t Shoot Straight.” The Marshall Thundering Herd is the real-life version.

Poor shooting in all areas were the downfall of the Herd in a 73-9 loss to the Robert Morris Colonials Friday at the Henderson Center.

Marshall (1-1) put up some dismal shooting percentages: 38.7 from the field, 12.5 from 3-point range, and 51.4 from the foul line.

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The Herd has struggled at the foul line in each of its games. Chris Ross, who scored 14 points for Marshall, didn’t put the blame on the 18 of 35 foul shooting.

“It all boils down to effort. We were up 15, so it wasn’t just free throws. It has nothing to do with what is going on on the court. It’s just us,” Ross said.

“We have to play harder, and that starts with me. I am the leader on the court and I have to make the team give its all, and we’re not doing that right now.”

After trailing 32-31 at the half, Marshall came out the second half and 59-44 lead with 9:58 to play on a layup by Ross.

But the Colonials kept chipping away and tied the game on a 3-point by A.J. Jackson with 1:35 to go.

Marshall’s Mark Dorris hit a foul shot but Derek Coleman’s 3-point with under a minute to play gave the Colonials the lead for good at 70-68.

Jean Bro Grebe hit a foul shot with 25 seconds left to get the Herd within 70-69, but Jeremy Chappell sank a pair of free throws and Freddie Harris made one with nine seconds left to seal the win.

“We played poorly and shot poorly. Robert Morris made big shots at the end and we did not play with discipline at the end,” Herd coach Ron Jirsa said.

“I didn’t see that fire you need to have against a team like Robert Morris. Give Robert Morris credit. They made the tough shots at the end and we didn’t have the discipline to answer.”

Travis Aikens led Marshall with 18 points. Tre Whitted and Dorris had 10 each.

Jackson led all scorers with 30 points for the Colonials. Chappell scored 14 and Coleman 10.

Marshall forced 16 turnovers but was guilty of 22 of its own.

“I am really proud of our effort,” Robert Morris coach Mark Schmidt said. “In the second half we played some bad defense and got down 12, but we showed a lot of toughness. Marshall is a very athletic tem and they destroyed us in the open court.”

The Herd now plays California at midnight on Thanksgiving in the Great Alaska Shootout.