Bearcats beat Herd, 72-56
CHARLESTON -- Marshall's Thundering Herd didn't need to give 11th-ranked Cincinnati any help Saturday afternoon, but it did.
Cincinnati (10-0) dumped Marshall (6-5) in the Charleston Civic Center, 72-56, in the Herd men's basketball team's first game since point guard Dre Kane and his nearly three-to-one assist/turnover ratio were knocked out of action because of a hand injury.
Kane's return date is uncertain, but it can't come soon enough for the Herd.
Marshall coughed up the basketball 20 times on turnovers, resulting in 20 gift points for the Bearcats.
"Twenty turnovers will get you beat any night," Marshall head coach Tom Herrion said.
Cincinnat attacked with its full-court pressure defense and Marshall committed five turnovers on its first six possessions.
Somehow, Marshall was still ahead, 9-7, and the crowd of 5,432 spectators was into it after D.D. Scarver swished consecutive 3-point shots, but the Herd stayed stuck on nine for more than five minutes Cincinnati overtook the Herd at 11-9 and carried the lead to the end of the game.
The Bearcats also won the rebounding contest, 40-31.
"(When) you're going to be plus-nine in turnovers and rebounds, you're not going to lose," Mick Cronin said.
But, Cincinnati led only 29-25 at halftime after getting off 16 more shots in the first 20 minutes when Marshall threw the ball away a dozen times.
Scarver, whose 20 points were matched by Marshall forward Elijah Pittman, made a guarded jump shot that left the Herd in a 35-32 deficit with 16:25 left to play, and the outcome was still in doubt.
Then Scarver and Nigel Spikes missed layups and Tamron Manning had a turnover.
Manning grabbed Shaquille Thomas on his way for a layup and the intentional foul call put the UC guard at the line for two free throws and he made two.
Cincinnati retained possession and Cashmere Wright's 3-pointer left the Beatcats ahead, 46-35, with 13:22 remaining. Wright, who had 14 points to lead his team, fired in three straight 3-point shots in the run that put the Bearcats safely ahead.
Scarver's fifth 3-pointer pulled the Herd to 56-48 with 8:52 to go before Cincinnati pulled away by 18 in the final two minutes.
Manning, a freshman who played for 30 minutes at point guard in relief of sophomore starter Chris Martin, had four turnovers in what he said was a learning experience.
"We have a lot of guys including myself who haven't played a lot," he said.
Cincinnati heated up to shot 61.5 percent in the second half while Marshall continued hurting itself with missed layups and free throws.
Marshall had more turnovers than field goals in a 17-for-43 shooting performance. The Herd did connect on eight of 12 shots from the 3-point line, but was 14-for-27 on free throws.
Pittman made six of his nine shots from the field, but forward Dennis Tinnon and center Nigel Spikes combined to go 0-for-9.
"We didn't play very smart," Herrion said. "We didn't play strong with the ball. I need some of my older guys to step up. I don't think we got that tonight."
Cincinnati logged the win in an off shooting night for junior guard Sean Kilpatrick, who carried a 20.0 scoring average to the court. Kilpatrick was 5-for-15 shooting and scored 13. He had nine points in the final eight minutes that helped protect the lead.
Titus Rubles led the Bearcats with eight rebounds while the Herd had Tinnon and Spikes getting seven and six respectively.
Marshall's all-time record dropped to 8-52 against foes in The Associated Press Top 25.
The Herd is 7-23 in games at the Charleston Civic Center, with most of those against West Virginia University.