Marshall keeps Lane at arm’s length, winning their first game of the year 57-53


Mara Mellits

Marshall’s Marcellis Burns (11) jumps above players from both teams for a rebound.

By Theo Gary, Managing Editor

Chicago Marshall (1-5, 1-2 CPL Red West-North) showed up late Wednesday night, but they could still handle playing on the road, holding off Lane (8-3, 2-1 CPL Red West-North) 57-53, in a game where Lane could never quite catch up, but Marshall could never quite run away. 

In the first quarter, Marshall started hot with guard Darryl Smith hitting two threes in the opening minutes. Lane on the other hand, couldn’t get anything going offensively, committing turnovers and digging itself a 13-2 hole in the opening stretch.            

Marshall’s height advantage was apparent early especially when Marshall’s Ja’Juan Cozark (6’4”) slapped away Will Rosenkrantz’(6’0”) driving layup. However, despite the early lead, Marshall’s scoring would slow.

“We didn’t handle their pace,” Lane’s Head Coach Nicholas LoGalbo said postgame. “We didn’t handle their defensive intensity very well early.” 

Lane cut into the lead slowly, with two catch-and-shoot threes from Rosenkrantz to end the first and start the second quarter. A coast-to-coast drive from Shaheed Solebo cut the deficit to seven, with Marshall up 21-14. 

Solebo played well all night. Passing and scoring, the sophomore showed why he stars for varsity.   

“I was staying aggressive. Shots weren’t really falling but I still kept taking shots,” Solebo said postgame

The end of the first half was slow, punctuated by lots of blocks, lots of fouls — lots of nothing. Even so, Lane entered the bonus with 2:37 left in the first half, meaning Marshall was racking up fouls— something which would affect the game till the end. 

“Offensively, we were trying to get them in the air, like pump fake, get them jumping, because we know they [were] going jump at everything and get them in foul trouble,” Solebo said. “I think their two bigs had four fouls going into the fourth.”

A Sean Molloy layup cut the deficit to four, but Marshall’s Darryl Smith hit a big layup with 0.9 seconds left to extend their lead going into halftime, 30-23. 

Lane increased their defensive intensity in the second half, cashing in on turnovers with a Molloy circus layup and-one. Marshall would, as they did all night, answer with second chance points. A sequence of dunks from Cozark and Marcellis Burns rebuilt a 7 point lead for Marshall, 41-34.

“So at the end of the day, I thought we did what we needed to do for the most part defensively — they just killed us on the glass, and that allows second chance points,” LoGalbo said. 

Once again Marshall got into foul trouble, committing eight in the third quarter alone. The free throws given up by Marshall would ultimately keep Lane in the game. 

“Their two bigs [Cozark and Joel Brown] both had four fouls in the third quarter. And if we just put one body on those guys [who] are jumping over our backs, they’d be out of the game, and we didn’t do that tonight,” LoGalbo said. 

Again and again Lane would take the momentum and again and again Marshall would answer. After split free throws to tie the game by Lane’s Lucas Basile, Smith, who Lane seemingly could not defend, hit another three to end the third quarter.

“[Smith] is their guy — we knew that,” LoGalbo said. “We tried some things tonight, we went into our attach coverage, which means he’s not supposed to touch the ball, get the ball back, and we thought that was successful for the most part. But somehow when he did find the ball back he made plays for them.”

The fourth quarter started with a big three from Lane’s Parker Springer, which brought Lane within two. However, Lane could never take control, making mistake after mistake in the stretch run of a one possession game.

“We just had a couple of bonehead plays that allowed them to get momentum back,” LoGalbo said. “So a lot of things to clean up still relatively early in the year.” 

Williams, Burns, Brown and Cozark all played the entire fourth quarter with four fouls. When it seemed to matter, foul calls dried up for Lane. Yet for Marshall, free throws would put them up again for good. Cozark put away one of two freethrows and then Smith capitalized on a Lane mistake, finishing a coast-to-coast layup to put Marshall up four. 

Lane could never answer, losing 57-53.

Megan Camacho contributed reporting