Although Jacksonville trotted out a new head coach, four first-year starters and five first-season varsity squad men, the results was the same Tuesday evening when the Tribe stuck it to Marshall, 68-55, at the JISD Gymnasium.
The win was Jacksonville's fifth-straight over the Mavs, who took an impressive 10-1 record into Tuesday's tilt, and are the pre-season favorites to win the District 14-4A crown.
The difference maker for the Indians (10-4) was the third quarter when the Tribe held the potent Marshall offense to just six points. Jacksonville added 16 points to the scoreboard to move in front 51-36 heading into the final period — Jacksonville led 35-30 at the break.
“Coach (Mark Alexander) stressed to us (at halftime) that we had to come out and get some defensive stops and keep them (Marshall) from putting the ball in the hole,” Raybon Riden, the Tribe's senior point guard said. “Marshall has a real good team and we knew that we had to play better defensively in the second half to have a chance at winning.”
The Indians opened the third on a 14-4 run, with Marshall's first points of the segment coming at the 4:07 mark of the frame when Tianone Jackson-Young drained a deuce that cut the Tribe margin to 42-32.
Jackson-Young, who led all players with 14 rebounds, put in 12 points, as did Marshall's Shirmar Jones.
Jacksonville took its first double-digit lead with 4:57 to go in the third when Riden sank a trey that made the score 40-30 in favor of the home team.
The Indians led by as many as 15 points, but the Mavs fought back and reeled off a 10-0 run early in the final frame to pull to within five, 58-53, with a bout three and a half minutes left in the game.
The Indians regrouped following a timeout and outscored marshall 10-2 down the stretch to post the double-digit triumph.