Turnovers thwart Herd's chances
HUNTINGTON -- All things considered, Tamron Manning held up pretty well in his first significant action as Marshall University's point guard.
Manning played for 30 minutes Saturday afternoon in a men's basketball loss to the 11th-ranked Cincinnati Bearcats (10-0) in the Charleston Civic Center where the crowd for a Marshall semi-home game was 5,432.
Cincinnati defeated Marshall, 72-56, with a pressure defense that forced the Thundering Herd into 20 turnovers.
"What makes them so good is their guards," said Manning, a freshman. "They play you physical. People are yelling for fouls, but they don't foul that much.
"We helped them a lot. We coughed the ball up a lot."
Marshall (6-5) had seven turnovers in the first six-plus minutes of action and fell behind early. The turnover count was 12 at halftime, but Cincinnati only led, 29-25.
Sophomore Chris Martin opened the game at point guard with Dre Kane not in uniform because of a hand injury. Manning entered at 15:12 of the first half and rarely came out.
"It was tough," Manning said about UC's defensive pressure. "Once we adjusted we handled it."
The 6-foot-4 rookie from Georgetown, Ky., scored his first college points on a 3-point shot in the first half. He also had two rebounds and one steal while adding four turnovers to the total.
Martin and forward Dennis Tinnon also had four turnovers each.
"It wasn't just our guards contributing to 20 tunovers -- it was a lot of guys," Marshall head coach Tom Herrion said.
Cincinnati head coach Mick Cronin wasn't offering excuses for Marshall when he said the Herd played without two players who might have affected the outcome.
Marshall freshman point guard Kareem Canty was ruled academically ineligible before the season and Kane is out for an indefinite period. Kane is averaging 15.0 points and 8.5 assists per game.
"If Marshall had him (Canty) and DeAndre Kane this would have been a different game," Cronin said.
Marshall won't face a team that plays defense like Cincinnati until, well, Saturday probably.
The Herd has a Wednesday home game at 7 p.m. against preseason Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference favorite Savannah State (5-6) before visiting NCAA defending champion Kentucky (7-3) at 4 p.m., Saturday, in Rupp Arena. Svannah State lost Saturday at Marquette, 71-51. Kentucky routed Lipscomb, 88-50.
Herrion said the team fell way short of its benchmarks for success.
The coach wants 10 turnovers or less -- the team had 20.
He wants to hold the opponent to 40 percent shooting or less -- the Bearcats hit 61.5 percent for the second half and 45.3 percent in the game.
And, he wants a plus-10 rebound sdvantage -- the Bearcats won that battle, 40-31, and had 17 offensive rebounds.
"I thought they showed in stretches why they're a top 10 team in the country," Herrion said. "They're really good, but we contributed mightily to the defeat."
D.D. Scarver and Elijah Pittman both scored 20 for Marshall, but seven other players combined for 16 points.
Marshall had season lows for field goals (17) and field goal attempts (43) while the turnover and rebound differences allowed Cincinnati to get off 21 more shots.
Scarver was 5-for-7 shooing 3-pointers in a season-best percentage of 66.7 percent on eight of 12 for the team.
"Their pressure didn't allow us to get into very much offensively," Herrion said.
The Herd also missed 13 of 27 free throw attempts.
Marshall men's basketball
Savannah St. (5-6)
at Marshall (6-5)
Cam Henderson Center
7 p.m., Wednesday