AKRON, Ohio -- The Marshall men's basketball team's road woes continued Thursday night, after both a last-second layup and desperation 3-pointer refused to fall and the Thundering Herd lost at Akron, 59-58.
The Herd (5-9) had a chance to win the game in the final seconds. A Chris Thomas steal and dunk cut what was an 11-point second- half Akron lead to 59-58. Then Marshall forced a Zips shot-clock violation with about 14 seconds left.
Marshall point guard Kareem Canty took the ball to the hoop, but his layup rolled around and off the rim. Carmelo Betancourt came up with the rebound and got the ball to Quincy Diggs, who was fouled. Diggs missed both free throws and Marshall got the ball back down one with about two seconds left. Canty tried another game-winner, but his 3-point heave missed the mark.
The Herd has now lost 20 of its last 21 games away from the Cam Henderson Center. It has lost seven of its last eight games and seven straight against Division I opponents.
The Zips (8-5) won despite making just 21 of 59 shots from the floor (36 percent), 3 of 13 from 3-point range (23 percent) and 14 of 26 from the free throw line (54 percent). Akron did, however, dominate on the boards, outrebounding the Herd 42-29. A game after Marshall Coach Tom Herrion called the 18 offensive rebounds allowed to South Carolina "unacceptable," the Herd gave up 20 to the Zips.
Marshall also struggled again from the free throw line, making 10 of 20, and committed 18 turnovers.
The Herd opened up strong against the Zips, running out to an 11-3 lead thanks in part to a 3-pointer and two free throws from Thomas. Akron struggled mightily from the floor to begin the game, making just two of its first 11 shots. It suffered another bout of misfortune when leading scorer Demetrius Treadwell was whistled for three quick fouls and spent most of the first half on the bench.
Yet, even with Treadwell out of the game, the Zips rallied while the Herd fizzled. Isaiah Johnson's layup with 8:13 left in the half tied the game at 19. Then Carmelo Betancourt, who made just three of six free throws entering Thursday's game, hit a pair with 7:42 left to give Akron a 21-19 lead, its first since leading 3-2.
The Zips never trailed again in the half. Marshall couldn't keep a hold of the ball, committing 13 first-half turnovers, as Akron took a 31-25 lead into halftime.
Thursday's game tipped off as scheduled, even though the University of Akron closed in the afternoon. A snow storm that dumped nearly four inches of snow in the area forced the university to close its doors around 2 p.m.
Ryan Taylor led Marshall with 16 points and tied with Cheikh Sane for the team lead with five rebounds. Canty, Thomas and TyQuane Goard each scored 10. Isaiah Johnson led Akron with 12 points and seven rebounds. West Virginia University transfer Pat Forsythe scored nine points for the Zips.
Marshall returns to the court Sunday at 2 p.m. against Presbyterian.