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Herd was locked in against East Carolina

Jan. 20, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

HUNTINGTON -- After terrific practices Monday through Thursday, Friday's practice was still good, but it wasn't as crisp for Marshall's men's basketball team.

It worried Marshall head coach Tom Herrion for just a minute heading into Saturday's contest against East Carolina.

The minute Herrion spent worrying about it was actually longer than what it took the Thundering Herd to put his worries aside in a 77-56 drubbing of the Pirates.

Marshall took control from the opening possession, building a 20-point halftime lead and never looking back en route to another home conference win by a sizable margin.

"We were so good Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, that (Friday) we weren't as good, but I think they were ready for a game," Herrion said. "We're all creatures of habit now. You don't go but two or three days without a game.

"Our kids, to their credit, they did a great job getting ready to play and were really prepared and focused and did a great job."

From the opening tip, Marshall's defense set the tone, hounding the East Carolina guards for the duration of the shot clock before forcing a jumper which drew no iron for a shot clock violation.

That possession epitomized the theme of the entire first half for the Herd.

Marshall scored the game's first 12 points and continued the onslaught over the course of the first 12 minutes of action.

When the teams went to the sidelines for a media timeout with 7:57 remaining in the half, Marshall led 27-4

The Herd had scored 22 of the 27 points in the paint while East Carolina had hit just two of its first 21 shots while turning the ball over five times.

"We had a good game plan coming in, we had a good week of practice, a long week of practice and we knew everything they were going to do," Marshall's DeAndre Kane said.

Kane led the Marshall charge, staying in control and coordinating the offense well to get the Herd easy looks inside.

He finished with 22 points, eight rebounds and three steals.

Combine that with the strong start on both ends by Elijah Pittman and the Herd found its cohesion heading into a curcial road trip, which starts with a battle at Southern Miss on Wednesday.

For the second time in two conference home games, Marshall came out and took care of the opposition early. The Herd also dominated the first half in the win over Tulsa last week, leading 43-20 at halftime of that game.

Now, the team is looking to bottle up its home moxie and take it on the road for a trip against Conference USA's top teams - Southern Miss and Memphis.

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