Pittman builds confidence
HUNTINGTON -- Elijah Pittman's pressure 3-point field goal kept the Marshall University men's basketball team afloat in a Sunday game at Hofstra.
Shaquille Stokes made a foul shot with 19 seconds left and Hofstra led Marshall, 85-82.
Marshall guard Dre Kane rushed the basketball past halfcourt. The Thundering Herd worked it around and four players touched it before Pittman caught it and shot.
Swish. Pittman's 3-pointer with seven seconds to go tied the game.
Hofstra eventually won, 103-100, in double-overtime, but Pittman sent a message to future foes, including the Nevada Wolfpack (3-1) that visits Marshall (2-3) for a 7 p.m., Saturday, game in Cam Henderson Center.
"That's really just out of my confidence," he said. "Just catch it and shoot. Just like in practice."
Marshall took a break from practice Thursday afternoon to help serve Thanksgiving dinners at the Huntington City Mission.
Head coach Tom Herrion hosted the team in his home for some turkey.
Pittman, a 6-foot-9 junior college transfer from Lamar State College in Port Arthur, Texas, shot 56 percent from the field and averaged 18.1 points last season while getting 6.8 rebounds and 1.9 blocked shots per game.
So far, his transition to the NCAA Division I level has been smooth.
Kane leads the team with an 18.0 scoring average followed by Pittman's 14.2. Dennis Tinnon leads the team with an 8.2 rebounding average and Pittman is second at 6.8.
Pittman has connected on 24 of 45 field goals (53.3 percent), gone 7-for-20 on 3-point attempts (35.0) and is the Herd's top free throw shooter at 16-for-18 for 88.9 percent.
He also has 10 assists, five blocked shots and three steals.
Scoring comes easy, the Covington, Ky., native said.
"But that's not really what we need right now," he said.
Winning starts on defense, and Pittman said Herd players need to communicate with each other more and develop a "want to" attitude about playing defense.
Pittman said improved defense will turn the tables and get the season headed in the right direction.
"When it happens, it's going to be good," he said.