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Three the key for MU

Jan. 10, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

HUNTINGTON -- Marshall Thundering Herd men's basketball coach Tom Herrion would like to see less than 32 3-point attempts in a game.

But 12 of them went down Wednesday night, giving Marshall a 36-9 scoring advantage from long range on its way to a 79-61 romp over Tulsa in the Conference USA opener at Cam Henderson Center.

Marshall shot 37 percent from 3-point range, and 45 percent -- a rarity this season -- from the floor in a game where the Herd flirted with putting up a 30-point lead in the second half.

"(Tulsa) played a lot of zone, but even before that we got baskets early in transition," Herrion said. "We had guys spotting up with our bigs running the lane sucking in the defenders and we were able to move the ball around and get good looks.

"Thirty-two is a big number, at the end of the day, probably too much for us," the coach said. "But when we're open we want to shoot open shots, and it's just a bit looser and more aggressive way to play."

DeAndre Kane, who's shot has been off for much of the season and has been hampered by a broken hand, seemed to find his groove against the Golden Hurricane.

Kane was 4-6 from 3-point range on a 16-point night.

"You have guys who have been coming in on Sunday and shooting, staying after practice and shooting," Kane said. "Shooters have to shoot. Guys are just shooting with more confidence and the ball goes in the hoop.

"I was just shooting the shots that they gave me, and it's about time some of them went down."

Alongside Kane, D.D. Scarver had 16 points, nine of which came from threes, while Elijah Pittman had 19 points on a night where he was 4-for-8 from distance.

"It's huge when Elijah goes 4-for-8 and DeAndre goes 4-for-6," said Tulsa head coach Danny Manning. "And the looks that they got were good shots.

"We have to do a better job of defending the 3-point line once they start shooting the way they did."

Meanwhile, the Herd held Tulsa to 3-for-14 (21 percent) from the 3-point line, and 36 percent from the floor overall.

"We had an opportunity to hit some threes, we just didn't knock them down from the looks that we got," Manning said. "When we're 3-for-14 we shouldn't be shooting too many of them."

The win over Tulsa also saw the return of Yous Mbao, who played three minutes and recorded a rebound.

The 7-foot-2 big man has been sidelined since Nov. 20 with a head injury after colliding with Robert Goff in practice.

"He has a contagious personality and he's kind of a fan-favorite, so it was nice to get him in there," Herrion said. "He got a big rebound. It's just refreshing to have him back after such a traumatic injury, so we'll see how he does going forward."

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