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Herd tries to shake off rough stretch

MU basketball
Feb. 11, 2013 @ 11:51 PM

HUNTINGTON -- A handful of Marshall University men's basketball players were in the gym Sunday working out on their day off.

That was a good sign, head coach Tom Herrion indicated.

Marshall, 10-14 overall, lost five of its last six games and is tied for eighth place in Conference USA at 3-6 with seven regular season games remaining.

"We have a good group of kids," Herrion said Monday before practice. "They're trying to do the right things."

Last-place Rice (5-18, 1-8) visits Marshall for a 7 p.m., Wednesday, game in Cam Henderson Center.

First-place Memphis (20-3, 9-0) brings a No. 22 national ranking to town for an 8 p.m., Saturday, contest.

Marshall fell to 0-9 on the road last week with defeats at Tulane and UAB, but is at home to play two of its next three games.

Herrion compared his players to boxers who have taken too many punches to the jaw.

"We are a boxer or a fighter that at times can't take a punch and that's led to our lack of success on the road," he said.

Marshall needs someone to steer it through some tough times, and Herrion said seniors Dennis Tinnon, Nigel Spikes and Rob Goff and junior Dre Kane are attempting to do that. Tinnon, Spikes and Kane are the Herd co-captains.

Tinnon said it's about leading by example.

"If guys are seeing we're doing a good job, they'll follow," he said. "If we're not playing well, that kind of brings the other guys down.We're at the point where everybody is not feeling well because we're losing. Everybody has got to play their hearts out."

Other things factored into losing, but giving up points from the 3-point line figured heavily in Marshall's last two games.

UAB burned Marshall with nine 3-pointers in 16 attempts Saturday and won, 75-61. Tulane went 11-for-25 from the 3-point line Wednesday and defeated Marshall, 91-75.

Up next is a 3-point shooting Rice team.

Rice is only ranked eighth in the conference for 3-point field goal percentage, but Marshall is last defending against it at 37.0 percent. Rice has taken more 3-point shots (504) and made more (171) than any C-USA team. Their 7.4 makes per game also leads all teams.

The Owls had only 10 field goals Saturday at home in a loss to SMU (61-39) and six of them were 3-pointers.

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