SAN DIEGO (AP) – Jon Elmore scored 27 points and Jarrod West hit a huge 3-pointer with three minutes left to help No. 13 seed Marshall topple fourth-seeded Wichita State 81-75 Friday in the East Region.
The Thundering Herd (25-10) also got big shots down the stretch from Ajdin Penava and C.J. Burks to win in its first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1987. Marshall plays the Murray State-West Virginia winner in the next round.
Wichita State (25-8) got 27 points from Conner Frankamp and seemed to be in control midway through the second half, but the Thundering Herd refused to fade despite its lack of NCAA tourney experience.
After Frankamp’s long jumper gave the Shockers a 70-69 lead with just less than 5 minutes to go, Penava made a layup. The next time down the floor, West buried a long 3 and raised his right hand in celebration after giving the Thundering Herd a 74-70 lead.
Shaquille Morris responded with a slam dunk for the Shockers before the 6-foot-9 Penava made another layup and Burks had a steal and a layup to give Marshall a six-point lead.
Frankamp hit a 3 with 44.1 seconds left before Marshall benefited from a critical call. With 36.2 seconds left, Zach Brown of Wichita State blocked a shot by Jannson Williams and the ball went out of bounds. After a long video review, the referees awarded the ball to Marshall, and Penava had a slam dunk off an inbounds pass.
Wichita State blew several chances to pull any closer. Landry Shamet missed the front end of a one-and-one with 28.9 seconds and the Shockers then missed two 3-point attempts in the next 12 seconds before turning the ball over.
Penava scored16 points, Burks 13 and Williams 10. Morris had 12 for the Shockers and Shamet 11.
Elmore scored nine straight points midway through the second half, including two 3-pointers, to help Marshall keep pace after it allowed the Shockers to go on a 15-1 run spanning halftime.
Frankamp responded with 3s on consecutive possessions for Wichita State
Marshall led for most of the first half, twice taking a seven-point lead, before Wichita State went on an 11-1 run to take a 37-34 halftime lead. The Thundering Herd played for the final shot of the half but Elmore was whistled for a foul with 9.2 seconds left. Willis missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer.
Wichita State outrebounded the Thundering Herd 44-30, with Rashard Kelly grabbing 12. But the Shockers also committed 15 turnovers, which led to 27 points for Marshall.
Marshall advances to face the winner of the Murray State-West Virginia game.