Marshall used its roster depth to its advantage in wearing Jacksonville down late on Tuesday evening when the Mavericks downed the Indians, 75-64, in District 16-5A play.
Despite the teams combining to shoot over 70 free throws, the game appeared to resemble a rugby scrum at times — definitely one of the more physical affairs played inside John Alexander Gymnasium in a while — with Marshall having the freshest horses late in the game as a result of Maverick head coach Bobby Carson substituting in units during the first half. The move seemed to pay off for the Mavs (17-8, 7-1) in the latter stages of the contest.
After leading 36-33 at intermission, the Indians (9-17, 0-8) played with much energy and managed to protect the lead, until Savion Williams drained a shot with :26 to go in the third. The basket put the Mavs in front, 52-50, with Jacksonville unable to pull in front the remainder of the game.
Marshall's struggles from the free throw line in the fourth frame where the Mavs hit at a 36.3-percent (8-22) rate factored into the Indians staying close down the stretch.
Following a Jonathan Denman shot from the charity stripe that came with 1:15 left in the game, Jacksonville cut the Mav lead to eight points.
Unfortunately, that was the last point the Indians were able to score.
After falling behind by 12 points in the second quarter the Tribe mounted a 13-2 run, sparked by six points from Amad'Juan Minifee, to pull to within a points, 29-28, of Marshall.
Jonathan Denman racked up 23 points to lead the Jacksonville attack, with Devin McCuin contributing 10, which included two 3-pointers in the fourth quarter.
Minifee finished with eight points while JaModerick Sherfield scored seven.
Jacksonville is slated to visit Lufkin on Friday. Tip off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
JUNIOR VARSITY: Jacksonville 33, Marshall 25.