Herd hopes to bounce back
HUNTINGTON -- All the Marshall University men's basketball team can do is look ahead.
Looking back could cause nightmares. Three consecutive losses and five defeats in the last seven games can do that.
Marshall slumped to its lowest point of the season Saturday in a 37-point whipping by the Ohio Bobcats at the Convocation Center in Athens, Ohio.
Thundering Herd guard Dre Kane said nobody is giving up on the season.
"We'll keep fighting," Kane said. "We've just got to keep playing. It's as simple as that.
"We were down 30-40 points and nobody stopped playing."
Now saddled with a 7-8 record at the end of its non-conference schedule, Marshall begins the "second season" Wednesday in Conference USA with a 7 p.m., Wednesday, visit by the Tulsa Golden Hurricane (9-6, 1-0 C-USA) to Cam Henderson Center.
Ohio (9-5) rolled to a 94-57 victory when Marshall committed 26 turnovers that contributed 51 points for the Bobcats.
Marshall head coach Tom Herrion answered a question about whether the turnovers were mental or physical mistakes by saying it was just discouraging.
"Pass and catch," Herrion said. "I know it's a simple phrase, but clearly we did not execute it at any position or package that we put out there."
Herd forward Elijah Pittman topped the turnover list with six and Kane had four in his first appearance after missing four games because of a hand injury. Dennis Tinnon, D.D. Scarver and Rob Goff each turned it over three times. Jamir Hanner and Kelvin Amayo both had two.
Most of the turnovers were of the live-ball variety where Marshall basically handed the basketball to the Bobcats who went the other way for layups and dunks.
Nineteen of the giveaways were in the first half when Ohio pulled away, 56-24. The Bobcats didn't miss a two-point shot in the first 20 minutes, going 14-for-14.
"I'm very disappointed," Herrion said. "Our inability to take care of the ball at every position and pretty much every player was inexplicable to a certain extent and unacceptable.
"At the end of the day we've got to start making some basketball plays. Our basketball players have to start making basketball plays."
Scarver's 13 points and Hanner's 12 led Marshall while Tinnon snagged 13 rebounds.
Somehow lost in the outbreak of turnovers was another poor free throw shooting exhibition by the Herd (14-for-29), which is last in C-USA and one of the worst in the nation at 57.9 percent for the season.
Hanner had career highs for points and rebounds while making eight of nine foul shots.
Kane added six points, eight rebounds, two assists and one steal in 20 minutes of action from off the bench.
Ohio shot a blistering 65.3 percent from the field and had 29 assists on 32 baskets.
The Bobcats put five scorers in double figures, led by Nick Kellogg who made five 3-point shots and scored 22. Kellogg had 19 points at halftime.
D.J. Cooper tied the Mid-American Conference record with 17 assists. He also had 12 points, six rebounds and four steals.
Kane acknowledged Cooper's ability as a great point guard, but said all of his assists came off of turnovers.
"You can't defend turnovers," Kane said.
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