Herd fades, Tulsa wins
HUNTINGTON — A technical foul called on Marshall Thundering Herd forward Ryan Taylor didn’t directly lose the game Saturday, but it was a major factor.
Taylor’s reaction to a foul called against him came at 9:52 of the second half.
Tulsa was already coming back from an eight-point deficit when Taylor locked up with Golden Hurricane forward Brandon Swannegan in a battle for a loose ball. A foul was called, Taylor’s fourth, and his response drew another whistle for a “T.”
The Marshall forward’s fifth foul put him out of the game and added fuel to Tulsa’s charge in a 69-52 men’s basketball victory played for an afternoon turnout of 4,637 spectators in Cam Henderson Center.
James Woodard, who topped Tulsa’s scoring with 17, shot the technical and made two foul shots. The visitors retained possession and Woodard nailed a 3-point shot. Pat Swilling followed with another 3-pointer. D’Andre Wright extended the run to 10 points with a pair of foul shots and Tulsa led, 52-45, with 7:53 remaining.
“We melted,” said Marshall head coach Tom Herrion. “We hit adversity. It hit us right in the face and we caved in. Nobody feels worse than Ryan Taylor right now. It was an extremely poor decision in the timing, but you have to respond. You have to rally and we didn’t do that.
“We caved in and we crumbled, which is not a good feeling.”
Herrion noted that Tulsa had a similar situation when forward Lew Evans was disqualified on a technical foul earlier in the second half, but the Golden Hurricane didn’t crumble.
Marshall had a nine-point lead in the first half and a 34-26 advantage with 15:31 left in the game. Tulsa pulled even before a DeVince Boykins 3-pointer just before Taylor’s technical put the Herd on top, 45-42, with 10:31 to go.
Following the technical foul Tulsa (8-10 season, 3-1 Conference USA) outscored Marshall, 27-7.
“The first half, give Marshall credit for the way they guarded us,” Tulsa head coach Danny Manning said after his team came back from five down by shooting 61.5 percent after halftime.
“The second half we had more shots drop for us and we were able to go on a little run.”
Marshall (6-13) remains winless in C-USA at 0-4 — its worst start in nine seasons as a conference member.
Chris Thomas had 14 points and Kareem Canty scored 12 for half of the Herd scoring. Tulsa’s bench outscored the Herd, 32-13. Shawn Smith added seven points and six rebounds in his first Marshall start. TyQuane Goard scored six and led the team with eight rebounds. Canty also had nine assists
Thomas said the technical foul was an energy-changer.
“But we still should have won that game,” the sophomore guard said. “We couldn’t get (defensive) stops when we needed to get stops. Our momentum went down and they started hitting shots, raising their momentum up.
“We couldn’t hold (on to) the win.”
Herrion and Danny Manning both said it was a game of two different halves for their clubs.
Marshall’s defense was strong early when Tulsa made just 8 of 32 shots (25 percent) in the first half before the Golden Hurricane heated up and scored 49 in the second 20 minutes.
The Herd struggled throughout offensively, hitting 32.8 percent on field goals and going 4-for-16 on 3-point attempts.
“The first half we guarded our tails off defensively,” Herrion said. “Then our defense leaves us in the second half and Tulsa shot an astronomical number (61.5 percent).”
Both teams made their foul shots — Tulsa sinking 14 of 18 for 77.8 percent and Marshall making 10 of 15 for 66.7 percent.
The rebounds were even, 39-39.
Marshall goes back on the road Thursday at Rice with an 0-9 record this season away from home. Rice played Saturday night at Tulane.
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