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Thundering Herd ready to avenge loss

MU basketball
Mar. 03, 2013 @ 11:00 PM

HUNTINGTON -- Marshall's Thundering Herd has been torched for 100 points three times this season and one of them is coming back for more.

Houston smashed Marshall on Saturday, 103-76.

Southern Miss embarrassed Marshall, 102-46, on Jan. 23.

Hofstra also dropped 100 on Marshall in a 103-100, double-overtime victory on Nov. 18.

The Thundering Herd men's basketball team won't have a chance for redemption against Houston unless they meet again in the Conference USA tournament or against Hofstra, a non-conference opponent.

An opportunity to avenge the loss to Southern Miss is 7 p.m. Tuesday at Cam Henderson Center, which is scheduled for television on the CBS Sports Network (Ch. 174 on Comcast cable in Huntington).

Marshall will have Senior Day recognition for Rob Goff, Nigel Spikes and Dennis Tinnon at their final home game.

"They handled us pretty easily in Hattiesburg," Marshall head coach Tom Herrion said. "We've got our hands full."

C-USA's final week of the regular season will determine conference tournament seeds and pairings for an 11-team playoff -- UCF is not eligible for postseason play because of NCAA sanctions -- scheduled March 13-16 at the BOK Center in Tulsa, Okla.

Regular-season champion Memphis and second-place Southern Miss (22-7, 11-3 C-USA) have secured two of the five first-round tournament byes.

Southern Miss rocked East Carolina on Saturday, 88-69. Neil Watson of the Golden Eagles scored 26 on perfect shooting -- 7-for-7 on 3-pointers and 5-for-5 on free throws. Dwayne Davis (17), Jonathan Mills (15) and Daveon Boardingham (12) also scored in double figures. Mills collected 17 rebounds.

The Golden Eagles pulled away after leading by five at halftime.

Marshall (12-17, 5-9 C-USA) and Houston are tied for ninth place

"We've got to regroup quickly," Herrion said following the game at Houston. "There's no mercy. We have to pick ourselves up off the mat."

The Marshall regular season ends Saturday at East Carolina.

Houston shot 59.4 percent from the field Saturday and never trailed.

Forward TaShawn Thomas popped in 25 points while forward Danuel House and guard Joseph Young both scored 23 and forward Mikhail McLean added 12.

The Cougars beat the Herd, 50-30, on points in the paint and scored 23 off turnovers.

"We had no resistance, no fight," Herrion said. "They scored it at will. That disappoints me thoroughly, mightily and whole heartily."

Marshall made a small run after falling behind 69-39 with 13:08 left to play.

Dre Kane fired in a 3-point shot, Elijah Pittman made two in a row from behind the arc, Spikes got a dunk, Chris Martin sank another 3-pointer and Pittman swished two free throws in a 16-4 run that reduced the Houston lead to 73-55 with 8:32 remaining.

"I was unhappy about the stretch in the second half from about the 13 to eight minute marks where the lead went from 30 to 18," said Houston head coach James Dickey. "That second group that we put in didn't defend. I wanted that group to come in and certainly not allow them to go on a run. We settled for jump shots and the bottom line was we didn't defend during that period.

"What was disappointing was that in the last 13 minutes of the game Marshall scored 37 points."

But, Marshall didn't score enough to get any closer.

Kane's 27 points led Marshall, and he was 10-for-25 shooting to get there. The junior guard moved past Bill Hall (1944-47) into 17th place on the Herd career list with 1,445 points.

Pittman followed with 22 points and had eight rebounds. Dennis Tinnon turned in a double-double performance of 13 points and 12 rebounds.

D.D. Scarver missed all seven of his field goal attempts and slumped to 1-for-17 in the last two games.

Marshall made 36.4 percent of its shots (7-for-31 on 3-pointers) and had its best free throw shooting game of the season, making 21 of 27 for 77.8 percent.

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