Elmore, Herd advance to CIT title game

Published 12:31 am Wednesday, April 3, 2019

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Jon Elmore isn’t finished breaking records, and Marshall isn’t finished playing basketball.
Elmore made the first of two free throws after a technical foul was called, which made the senior guard from Charleston, West Virginia, part of the highest-scoring father-son duo in the history of Division I men’s college basketball. Elmore scored 28 points in Marshall’s 80-78 win against Hampton in Tuesday night’s CollegeInsiders.com Tournament semifinals here at the Henderson Center, giving him 2,621 career points. Elmore’s father, Gay Elmore, scored 2,422 during his VMI career, giving the Elmores 5,043 combined points.
The record previously belonged to one of the most famous basketball families. Dell Curry scored 2,385 points from 1982-86 at Virginia Tech, and then his son Stephen Curry scored 2,635 points during a stellar three-year career at Davidson. Elmore’s free throw with 7:49 left of the first half Tuesday night gave the Elmores 5,021 points, breaking the total of 5,020 points scored by Curry and Curry.
“Great team win,” Jon Elmore said. “On to the championship.”
Marshall will host the CIT championship Thursday night at the Henderson Center against Green Bay-Wisconsin.
Elmore’s free throw after a technical on Hampton’s Jermaine Morrow flipped momentum in the first of two CIT semifinals. The Pirates (18-17) led by 10 points, 33-23, at the time of the technical, and Elmore made one of two foul shots to cut the deficit back to single digits. Then, Elmore put on a remarkable shooting display.
Elmore hit four consecutive 3-pointers – at 7:33, 6:18, 5:41 and 4:53 on the clock – the last of which gave the Herd (22-14) a 39-35 lead. Including the free throw that put Elmore and his father into the NCAA record books, Marshall ended the half on a 28-5 run. Hampton did not make a field goal for the final 5:22 of the first half, and the Herd held a 51-38 lead at intermission in front of a rowdy crowd of 4,122.
“Our job as seniors … we have to be the motors and attack,” Elmore said. “We have to apply pressure at all times. I tried to attack and took what they gave me. They backed up on a couple and I hit them.”
Elmore scored 12 points in a span of two minutes and 40 seconds. He connected on another 3-pointer with 42 seconds left of the half, and went into the locker room with 23 points on 6-of-9 shooting from beyond the arc.
Overall, the score was tied nine times and the lead changed hands 13 times. Hampton charged back to lead as late as 2:07 in the second half, but four free throws down the stretch by senior C.J. Burks sealed the game.
“You get in tournaments and that’s what happens,” D’Antoni said. “Everybody is playing hard.”
Elmore finished with a game-high 28 points, and added nine rebounds and five assists in 38 minutes. Burks added 17 points, and sophomore Jannson Williams chipped in with 12.
Marshall held Hampton’s scoring star, Morrow, to 15 points on 5 of 19 shooting. Morrow entered the game averaging 24.7 points per game.
“Jarrod (West) did a great job just doggin’ him the whole game,” D’Antoni said. “We switch a whole lot, so it takes a team.”
Marshall has won three straight and nine of 10 entering Thursday’s championship game. Few teams, D’Antoni said, have the opportunity to end the season with a win.
“We started this in August playing in the Bahamas,” D’Antoni said. “This has been like an NBA season, but our kids have held form.”
Game notes:
Marshall attempted 32 shots from 3-point range Tuesday night, pushing the team’s season total to 1,032 – a program record. The previous record, 1,012, was set last season.
Elmore upped his career 3-pointers total to 355, which is No. 47 in NCAA men’s basketball history. He started the game ranked No. 55, and then passed players like Oklahoma’s Buddy Hield and Georgia Tech great Dennis Scott on the all-time list.
Elmore moved into second place on the program’s single-season 3-pointers list. Elmore passed Keith Veney (111; 1995-96) and Austin Loop (112; 2016-17) with his seven made 3s, which pushes his career total to 113. The all-time record is likely safe, as Veney made 130 during the 1996-97 season.
Chuck McGill is the Assistant Athletic Director for Fan/Donor Engagement and Communications at Marshall University and a seven-time winner of the National Sports Media Association West Virginia Sportswriter of the Year award. In addition to HerdZone.com’s Word on the Herd, McGill is the editor of Thundering Herd Illustrated, Marshall’s official athletics publication. Follow him on Twitter (@chuckmcgill) and Instagram (wordontheherd).
HAMPTON (18-17)
Barnes 7-14 4-5 18, Fisher 5-15 3-3 16, Mitchell 4-7 0-0 9, Marrow 5-19 3-4 15, Heckstall 5-11 2-2 14, Smoot 0-0 0-0 0, Stanley 2-4 2-2 6, Griffin 0-1 0-0 0, Bracey 0-4 0-0 0. Totals 28-75 14-16 78.
MARSHALL (22-14)
George 2-5 0-3 4, Williams 4-6 2-2 12, Elmore 9-22 3-4 28, Burks 5-8 6-6 17, West 1-4 0-0 3, Beyers 2-4 0-0 5, Bennett 0-3 2-4 2, Kinsey 2-5 2-3 7, Watson 1-6 0-0 2. Totals 26-63 15-22 80.
Halftime—Marshall 51-38. 3-Point Goals—Hampton 8-26 (Fisher 3-6, Heckstall 2-3, Marrow 2-6, Mitchell 1-4, Griffin 0-1, Bracey 0-2, Barnes 0-4), Marshall 13-32 (Elmore 7-13, Williams 2-4, Burks 1-2, Kinsey 1-2, Beyers 1-3, West 1-3, Watson 0-2, George 0-3). Fouled Out—Mitchell. Rebounds—Hampton 39 (Heckstall 15), Marshall 40 (Elmore, Williams 9). Assists—Hampton 10 (Fisher 4), Marshall 11 (Elmore 5). Total Fouls—Hampton 21, Marshall 15. Technicals—Marrow. A—4,122 (9,048).

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