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Herd doomed by inconsistent play

MU basketball
Feb. 18, 2013 @ 12:28 AM

HUNTINGTON -- Inconsistency continues to haunt Marshall Thundering Herd men's basketball.

Just look inside the numbers of Memphis defeating Marshall, 71-59, in a Conference USA game Saturday in Cam Henderson Center.

Marshall gave up 43 points in the first half, 28 in the second half.

Elijah Pittman, a 48.9 percent shooter for the season, made just five of 15.

Dennis Tinnon made three of nine shots in the first half and was 4-for-6 in the second half.

Dre Kane had five assists, but seven turnovers.

D.D. Scarver, a 12.9 average scorer, netted five.

Nigel Spikes averages 7.5 rebounds, and had only three.

Marshall had a good start, leading 10-3, but fell behind, 43-26 at halftime against the 22nd-ranked team in the nation. The Herd battled back to within 46-41 with 10:44 left in the game before Memphis used a 10-2 run and led 56-43 with 8:22 remaining.

"We had great energy at the beginning of the game," said Marshall head coach Tom Herrion. "We just didn't get enough stops in the first half. The second half, we came out and guarded. We were physical. We threw our bodies around."

First-place Memphis (22-3, 11-0 C-USA) hasn't lost since Dec. 15 against Louisville, a stretch of 16 games and the Tigers have 11 consecutive road wins. The Tigers lead Southern Miss by two games in the conference standings.

Memphis picked up 20 points from Marshall's 20 turnovers and outrebounded the Herd, 41-37. The Tigers had better bench support with 19 points and 14 rebounds from four players. The Herd's four reserves contributed a total of six points and five rebounds.

Marshall (11-15, 4-7) is tied with Houston and UAB in eighth place and still has games left with those two -- at home Saturday against UAB and March 2 at Houston.

Tinnon, who finished with 15 points and 13 rebounds in his seventh double-double of the season, said Marshall just didn't play well in the first half.

"We weren't getting back enough (on defense)," he said. "They were getting a lot of open layups We knew we had to come out with way more energy (second half). We wanted to get back in the game."

Kane and Pittman both scored 16. Kane moved past Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame member Hal Greer into 19th place on the Marshall career list with 1,390. The junior guard left the game because of leg cramps with 13:06 to go and sat out about three minutes. It was his first bench time in the last five games.

Memphis was led by sophomore forward Adonis Thomas who scored a career-best 23 and tied his career high of 10 rebounds. Joe Jackson followed with 12 points and Geron Johnson added 11.

Marshall plays Wednesday at UCF (17-8, 7-4) seeking to end a nine-game road losing streak. UCF lost Saturday at UTEP, 73-58.

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