Marshall's road woes continue
HUNTINGTON -- A chance for the Marshall Thundering Herd men's basketball team to end its long streak of misery away from home flamed out early in the second half Saturday at UTEP.
The Miners outscored the Herd, 24-6, to begin the second half in a 66-56 victory at the Don Haskins Center in El Paso, Texas.
Marshall (6-11) remains winless away from home this season at 0-9 after losing both games of its Conference USA weekend road trip. The Herd has dropped its last 12 games away from home overall.
At 0-2 in C-USA the Herd shares last place in the standings with North Texas and Rice.
Marshall is hoping the good news is having its next two games at home in Cam Henderson Center -- Thursday against North Texas (9-7) and Saturday against Tulsa (6-9, 1-0).
"We've got to get home and take care of business," said Marshall head coach Tom Herrion. "A big week ahead of us."
Marshall was tied with UTEP (11-6, 1-1) at halftime, 27-27, when both teams were shooting less than 40 percent from the field.
The Miners, who heated up to 56.5 percent in the second period while the Herd dipped to 27.3 percent, took off on its run against the Marshall zone defense and built an 18-point lead with 10:43 left in the game.
"The zone was a good choice for the most part except for the first part of the second half," Herrion said.
Marshall began cutting into the deficit and guard Chris Thomas scored seven straight Herd points that reduced the gap to 53-41.
Ryan Taylor's 3-point shot pulled Marshall to within 54-47.
Shawn Smith cashed in a UTEP turnover with a jump shot and Thomas rebounded his miss for a basket that left the Herd as close as 60-55 with 1:37 left, but that was as close as it got.
"We kept attacking," Herrion said. "We got better shots. We got some (defensive) stops."
UTEP's Vince Hunter, a 6-foot-8 freshman forward had 20 points and nine rebounds and 6-11 senior John Bohannon was a force with 18 points, 14 rebounds and seven assists.
Julian Washburn, a 6-8 junior playing some at guard after UTEP lost three players last week in a gambling scandal, netted 17 points.
"I'm really happy about the win," UTEP coach Tim Floyd said. "We know Marshall has had some very difficult losses on the road. They're athletic, they've got talent and they came in here and played very inspired.
"They played really hard after they got down by 18."
UTEP used its size to build a 43-34 edge in rebounds. Herrion said he knew that was going to be an important part of the game.
The Herd stayed in a zone defense most of the way to offset some of its mismatch problems.
Forward TyQuane Goard, at 6-7, and Thomas, a 6-5 sophomore, led the Herd with six rebounds apiece. Marshall players need to do a better job of blocking their men off the backboards, Herrion said.
Taylor's 18 points and Thomas with 13 led the Herd.
Marshall men's basketball
North Texas (9-7, 0-2)
at Marshall (6-11, 0-2)
7 p.m., Thursday
Cam Henderson Center
Radio: WDGG 93.7-FM, WRVC 930-AM and 94.1-FM, WMUL 88.1-FM
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