Tulane knocks out Marshall
TULSA, Okla. — Almost.
But, not quite.
Tulane’s Ricky Tarrant had about three seconds to beat the 35-second shot clock and launched a 3-point missle from about 25 feet out that hit off the backboard and fell through the rim with seven seconds to go that broke a tie against the Marshall Thundering Herd in the first round of the Conference USA men’s basketball tournament Wednesday night in the BOK Center.
DeAndre Kane had been hit in the mouth going for a rebound of his missed shot with about 43 seconds left, but the officials allowed the action to continue after Tarrant’s basket until stopping to check the monitor. They came away with a foul called on Tulane’s Josh Davis, who had inadvertently hit Kane with an elbow.
Kane missed his first foul shot and made the second attempt, leaving Marshall down two.
The Herd put the ball back into play and Kane rushed it up the court and drove toward the rim before dishing to Elijah Pitttman on the left wing. Pittman’s attempt to draw a foul didn’t work and his try for a 3-pointer missed.
Tulane 66, Marshall 64. End of game. End of Herd season.
“A dagger through our heart at the end,” Marshall head coach Tom Herrion said.
Tulane (19-13) moves on as the No. 8 seed to a Thursday quarterfinal matchup with No. 20 Memphis, the No. 1 seeded C-USA regular season champion.
Marshall, the No. 9 seed, is finished with a 13-19 record.
“A bittersweet ending to a frustrating season,” Herrion said.
The Herd opened the game in a zone defense that kept the Green Wave off balance and they misfired on their first eight 3-point attempts.
With the teams tied 10-10, Marshall went on a 10-0 run that included Kane banking in a 3-pointer and making a long 3-pointer that gave the Herd a 10-point lead that slipped to 29-20 at the halftime break.
Dennis Tinnon’s basket on a feed from D.D. Scarver gave Marshall its biggest lead, 40-27, with 12:15 left to play.
Tulane found the range on a pair of 3-point shots by Tarrant and one by Jordan Callahan before Tarrant hit two free throws for a 47-47 deadlock with 7:07 remaining.
The lead changed hands several times after that.
Marshall led for the final time, 63-61, on Pittman’s free throws and only 1:19 remained. Kendall Timmons made a tough shot for the Green Wave at 1:02 that tied it again.
Kane’s miss and Tarrant’s clutch make followed.
“It felt good,” said Tarrant, who finished with 21 points. “It sailed straight to the backboard and then in. I was looking at the shot clock afer Jordan (Callahan) passed me the ball and knew I had to get a shot off so I just threw it up.
“Obviously, it went in.”
Davis added 18 points to the Tulane total and also grabbed 12 rebounds. Timmons scored 10.
Marshall had a higher shooting percentage, 47.1 percent to 39.3, and the difference was 3-pointers. After finding the range, Tulane made eight of 23 from the 3-point line. Marshall was 3-for-16.
Kane tossed in 22 points for Marshall and Tinnon had 16 while also collecting 11 rebounds. Pittman had 12 points.
“Coach did a great job preparing us all week for this game,” Tinnon said. “We were really focused and we just wanted to come in here and do our best to get the win, but it slipped out from under our feet and Tulane went away with the win.”
Tulane head coach Ed Conroy said the Herd played great throughout.
“We just executed at the end, and that last shot was very fortunate,” Conroy said.
Marshall center Nigel Spikes said the Herd lost on a lucky shot.