Scarver puts on a show for crowd
HUNTINGTON -- A crowd of 16,386 people makes a lot of noise.
But, 40 people can be noisy too.
D.D. Scarver had his own cheering section of about 40 supporters sitting directly behind the Marshall Thundering Herd bench Saturday for a Conference USA men's basketball game against the Memphis Tigers in FedExForum.
"They gave me a boost," Scarver said.
Scarver's supporters led by his mother, Donna, drove five hours from his Birmingham, Ala., hometown to see him play. He said there's no telling how much support he'll have when Marshall plays a Feb. 9 game at UAB.
They cheered for his first 3-point field goal of the game and yelled some more when his basket tied it, 31-31, later in the first half.
They rooted harder and louder when their favorite player hit another 3-point shot that put Marshall within one point of Memphis with two minutes and a few seconds left to play.
And, they were still applauding after Memphis held on to win, 73-72.
Scarver hit for 20 points on a 7-for-15 shooting performance, was 3-for-7 on 3-point attempts and made all three of his foul shots. He also had five rebounds, three assists and one steal in the most minutes (36) he's played this season.
"He was terrific," Marshall head coach Tom Herrion said. "Playing in front of his family is not an easy thing to do."
It was the 6-foot-4 junior guard's fourth 20 point game of the season. He's averaging 13.7 points to rank third on the team behind junior guard Dre Kane (15.0) and junior forward Elijah Pittman (14.5).
More than half of Scarver's baskets this season were worth three points -- 48 of 86 -- and he's the only player in C-USA with at least one 3-point field goal in every game. He's ranked second in the conference for 3-pointers per game with a 2.4 average.
"Confidence, that's all it is," said Scarver, who is also Marshall's best free throw shooter at 53 of 64 for 82.8 percent.
Marshall, 9-11 for the season and 2-3 in the conference, was competitive all the way against Memphis (16-3, 5-0) and had four chances to tie or take the lead in the final 45 seconds.
The team showed some character in a game that followed a 56-point blowout defeat three days earlier at Southern Miss (17-4, 6-0).
"We put it in the past," Scarver said.
If it's possible to gain momentum from losing, Marshall did.
Scarver said the confidence is back and Marshall is back on track for home games Wednesday against SMU (11-10, 1-5) and Saturday with UCF (14-5, 4-1).
"We're going to be ready," he said. "It feels good to be at home."
Most teams play better on their home courts, and Marshall is no different. Marshall has an 8-2 record in Cam Henderson Center, is 0-7 on the road and 1-2 in neutral-site games.
Marshall had its largest crowd of the season (6,056) the last time it played at home Jan. 19 against East Carolina and ranks third in C-USA home attendance average (5,473) entering the week behind Memphis (16,028) and UTEP (8.145).
Scarver said playing to win at home is a matter of pride.
"It's the fans, and you've got to protect your home court," he said.
Marshall men's basketball
SMU (11-10, 1-5)
at Marshall (9-11, 2-3)
7 p.m., Wednesday
Cam Henderson Center