C-USA teams struggle on road
HUNTINGTON — Conference USA men’s basketball teams are finding road wins harder to come by than last season.
Thirteen games were played in the first week of the league schedule with only four road winners — Tulsa at SMU, Southern Miss at Rice, UTEP at Tulane and Memphis at UAB. In six conference games played Saturday, only Memphis won on the road.
For all games involving C-USA teams this season the home school is 88-19 for an 82.2 winning percentage. Last season C-USA teams were 147-52 at home, a 73.9 percentage.
“Winning on the road is one of the biggest challenges in college basketball,” Marshall head coach Tom Herrion said.
Road wins help a team gain confidence, and Marshall didn’t acquire much early this season.
Marshall’s loss Saturday at UTEP put the Thundering Herd at 8-9 for the season and 1-1 in the conference with a Saturday home game coming up against East Carolina (10-5, 1-1), which is 1-4 away from home.
UTEP downed Marshall, 74-63. Herrion said the Herd played hard, but not smart at times.
“To win on the road you have to do everything better,” he said.
ECU PIRATES: East Carolina plays a Wednesday home game against Houston (12-3, 1-1). The Pirates are 9-1 at home and the Cougars have a 3-2 road record.
STAT WATCH: UCF forward Keith Clanton’s 36-point burst Saturday in an overtime loss at East Carolina put him in the conference scoring lead with a 17.8 average. He’s followed closely by Maurice Kemp of East Carolina (17.5), Josh Davis of Tulane (17.4) and Joseph Young from Houston (17.4).
Marshall has three of the top 14 scorers — Elijah Pittman (ninth, 14.5), Dre Kane (12th, 14.1) and D.D. Scarver (14th, 13.9).
Davis is the league’s leading rebounder with 10.2 a game followed by Clanton at 9.8 and TaShawn Thomas from Houston at 9.7.
Dennis Tinnon and Nigel Spikes from Marshall are fifth and seventh with 9.0 and 8.4 averages respectively.
Kane leads the conference with 7.6 assists per game.
Scarver is the league leader in 3-point field goals per game with 2.4.
SCORING UPDATE: A correction was made to the official statistics from the game at UTEP.
Marshall guard D.D. Scarver was actually 6-for-6 shooting free throws and forward Elijah Pittman was 1-for-3. Scarver is the Herd’s season free throw shooting leader at 49-for-58 for 84.5 percent.
MU WINS, YOU WIN: Anyone who purchases an $18 general admission ticket for the East Carolina game will receive a free general admission ticket to the Jan. 30 home game against SMU, but only if the Herd wins. The ticket can be redeemed for a free GA ticket for every home game until the Herd loses at home.
Also, anyone an present their ticket for the East Carolina game at the Marshall Recreation Center and receive a free one-day pass that is valid from Jan. 20 through Feb. 3.