Marshall travels to UAB
HUNTINGTON -- A 350-mile Thursday bus ride from New Orleans to Birmingham, Ala., provided time for the Marshall University men's basketball team to ponder its plight.
Marshall, a team expected to challenge Memphis at the top of Conference USA, has a 3-5 conference record and is tied for seventh place halfway through the league schedule. The top five teams with the best regular season conference records will earn first-round byes for the C-USA tournament.
The 11-team conference tournament (UCF is ineligible for the postseason because of NCAA sanctions) is March 13-16 at the BOK Center in Tulsa, Okla.
Marshall, 10-13 overall, slumped to 0-8 in road games Wednesday in a 91-75 loss to Tulane (15-8, 3-5) at Devlin Fieldhouse in New Orleans. Up next is a 3 p.m., Saturday, road game against UAB (10-13, 2-6) at Bartow Arena in Birmingham.
Although the Herd left New Orleans where Mardi Gras is moving into high gear, UAB has some "Mardi Gras Mayhem" events planned during the game.
Tulane was in a Mardi Gras-like mood Wednesday when the Green Wave screamed to a 59-35 halftime lead.
"We had no resistance, no fight, awful defensively," Marshall head coach Tom Herrion said.
The Green Wave made eight of its 11 3-point field goals in the first half, including four from Jordan Callahan who was 4-for-4 in only 12 minutes played before halftime.
Marshall attempted a comeback in the second 20 minutes and used a string of seven consecutive points to get within 72-58 with 7:36 remaining. Marshall still trailed by 14 with 6:58 to go when Tulane went on a 15-6 run to go ahead 89-66 with 2:17 left.
One of Marshall's problems was Tulane shooting -- 50.0 percent for the first half and 46.8 percent in the game. Another thing was the Green Wave outrebounding the Herd, 42-38.
The Herd was outrebounded for the sixth time in its last seven games.
"I know I sound like a broken record -- we will not defend and rebound consistently," Herrion said. "We were playing uphill the whole time. We contributed mightily, thoroughly and totally to this loss."
Marshall, which shot 46.6 percent and made 14 of 22 free throws, was led in scoring by Elijah Pittman (23), Dre Kane (14) and Dennis Tinnon (13). D.D. Scarver and Rob Goff both scored eight. Tinnon's 12 rebounds completed a double-double. Kane also doubled up with 11 assists.
.Josh Davis led the Green Wave with 23 points and 12 rebounds. Ricky Tarrant scored 19.
UAB used a hot first half Wednesday night to win at Tulsa, 70-63. A 30-4 run left the Blazers with a 24-point lead with 4:45 left in the half.
The Blazers held the Golden Hurricane without a field goal in a 12-minute stretch.
"I thought our guys in the first 15 minutes of the game played our best basketball of the year," first-season UAB head coach Jerod Haase said.