January 03, 2016

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (AP) James Kelly scored 27 points and Marshall pounded Western Kentucky 94-76 in a Conference USA opener on Sunday.

Kelly was 13 of 21 from the floor and grabbed 11 rebounds for the Thundering Herd (5-9). Stevie Browning scored 14 points, Jon Elmore had 13 points with eight assists, Ryan Taylor added 12 points and seven assists, and Austin Loop chipped in with 11 points. Marshall shot over 52 percent and went 11 of 30 on 3-point attempts. The Herd totaled 15 steals.

Justin Johnson tied a career-high with 24 points for Western Kentucky (8-6). The Hilltoppers shot 55 percent overall, but went 2 of 19 beyond the arc and committed 20 turnovers.

Marshall used an 11-0 run early in the first half - including a pair of dunks by Kelly and another from Loop - to build a 49-33 lead at intermission.

The lead reached 20 points 4 1/2 minutes into the second half after 3-pointer from Elmore.

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