Warhawks upset Marshall, fall to JMU

Cameron Jett, Editor-In-Chief

After 50 minutes on the hardwood, the line between a basketball game and a battlefield blurs.

Senior guard Jamari Blackmon and sophomore forward Thomas Howell held the frontline in a double-overtime bout against the Marshall Thundering Herd (18-5; 7-3) as both posted career highs in scoring to help the Warhawks (10- 13,6-4) creep back late to upset their Sun Belt opponent 86-82.

Blackmon barraged the Herd from behind the 3-point line with an 8-for-15 performance from long range as he made his way to a 35-point night. Howell’s 21-point,

15-rebound double-double set career-highs for both stats as he and Blackmon played the full 50 minutes.

Calling it a game undersells the true tenacity that ULM had in the victory. Head coach Keith Richard orchestrated something memorable in the Warhawks’ first-ever trip to Huntington, West Virginia.

“What a war,” Richard said following the game.

And a war it was.

ULM trailed by as much as nine in the second half. But as the time in regulation grew shorter, so did the Herd’s lead. Howell created the energy for a comeback when he rebounded a missed post shot and

turned it into a putback dunk over a Marshall defender to slice ULM’s deficit down to just two points.

Later, a 3-ball from junior guard Tyreke Locure put ULM up one point late in the contest. But the Herd corralled the game late and went up by three with just seconds left.

Blackmon put the game in his hands as he took a 3-point shot with seven seconds left. It stuck the back of the net and forced overtime.

In overtime, he went from a clutch performer to a perfectionist. He was 3-for-3 with his 3-pointers and 4-for-4 at the line.

“He was tremendous out there,” Richard said.

ULM trailed by four with 23 seconds left in overtime. Marshall had the option to just let ULM
foul and hope for misses. But Blackmon earned two free throws and made both. ULM pressed the Herd on the inbound as Locure forced a turnover and got the ball to Howell. He pivoted and rose up for a game-tying dunk and a trip for seconds with another overtime.

In the second overtime, Howell and Blackmon produced every Warhawk basket as they broke away from Marshall, trailing just once in the final stage of the game.

The Warhawks handed the Herd their second home defeat of the season. Marshall was 12-1 at home before ULM came to town.

But two days later, ULM didn’t make the same first impression against fellow first-time Sun Belt foe James Madison.

ULM took a one-point lead into the halftime break over the Dukes, but Richard’s Warhawks “didn’t have enough offense” in the final half. James Madison nearly doubled ULM in second-half scoring, most of which came on the Dukes’ 11-2 run to end the game.

After a grueling four-game road trip in the far east of the Sun Belt, ULM returns home for the first time in 19 days on Thursday against Coastal Carolina.