Marshall advances to Conference USA title game

For the second consecutive season, Marshall will play in the Conference USA championship game. (Marshall University)

For the second consecutive season, Marshall will play in the Conference USA championship game.

No. 4 Marshall (23-10) defeated No. 9 Southern Miss (16-18) 95-81 Friday in a Conference USA semifinal matchup in Frisco, Texas.

The Herd was led by junior guard Jon Elmore who came up just short of a triple-double. Elmore finished with 26 points, 9 rebounds and 9 assists.

Freshman Jannson Williams shot 5 of 6 from the field and was 2 for 2 from 3-point range and finished with 17 points and 5 rebounds. Coming off a 29-point performance in the quarterfinals, C.J. Burks scored 13.

Junior Ajdin Penava and freshman Jarrod West finished with 12 points.

Marshall used a hot-shooting first half to take a 47-27 lead into the half.

Southern Miss cut Marshall’s deficit to single digits late in the second half, but a deep 3-pointer by Elmore and clutch free throw shooting secured the win for the Herd.

Marshall shot 51 percent from the floor, 43 percent from 3-point range and 84 percent from the free throw line in its semifinal win.

The Herd defeated UTSA 95-81 in the quarterfinal Thursday night.

Marshall will play in the C-USA championship game Saturday at 8:30 p.m. The Herd will take on the winner of No. 2 Old Dominion and No. 3 Western Kentucky. Marshall went 0-2 against both teams in the regular season.

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