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MU, UCF locking up again

MU basketball
Feb. 19, 2013 @ 01:05 AM

Familiarity works both ways for Marshall University and UCF.

Marshall learned some things about UCF from a Feb. 2 men's basketball game the Thundering Herd won in Cam Henderson Center, 75-71. But, UCF also learned some things about Marshall.

"When the ball goes up it doesn't matter much," Marshall head coach Tom Herrion said Monday.

Something that matters more is Marshall getting its first road victory.

Marshall goes to UCF for a 7 p.m. Wednesday game in Orlando with an 0-9 road record. The Knights are 13-3 playing in UCF Arena.

Overall, Marshall is 11-15 and tied for eighth place in the conference at 4-7.

The Herd will play three of its final five regular season games on the road.

"We've got to find a way," Herrion said.

SAYING FAREWELL: Marshall and UCF (17-8, 7-4) meet for the final time as C-USA members. UCF, which leaves next season for the Big East Conference, is not eligible for the postseason because of NCAA sanctions.

Marshall holds a 9-6 series edge, but is 2-5 in visits to UCF where games in 2010 (9,460) and 2011 (9,094) attracted two of the top four crowd ever in 10,000-seat UCF Arena.

THE STRETCH RUN: Following is a look at what lies ahead for C-USA teams as they jockey for conference tournament seeding. The top five at the end will receive first-round byes in an 11-team tournament March 13-16 at the BOK Center in Tulsa, Okla.

Teams are listed according to the standings.

No. 21 Memphis (11-0): Houston, Southern Miss, at UCF, at UTEP, UAB.

Southern Miss (9-2): UTEP, at Memphis, East Carolina, at Marshall, UCF.

UCF (7-4): Marshall, Tulsa, Memphis, at UAB, at Southern Miss.

UTEP (7-4): at Southern Miss, Houston, at Rice, Memphis at SMU.

Tulsa (6-5): East Carolina, at UCF, Tulane, SMU, at Rice.

Tulane (5-6): At Rice, UAB, at Tulsa, at East Carolina, Houston.

East Carolina (5-6): at Tulsa, at SMU, at Southern Miss, Tulane, Marshall.

Houston (4-7): at Memphis, at UTEP, Marshall, Rice, at Tulane.

UAB (4-7): at Marshall, at Tulane, SMU, UCF, at Memphis.

Marshall (4-7): at UCF, UAB, at Houston, Southern Miss, at East Carolina.

SMU (3-9): East Carolina, Rice, at UAB, at Tulsa, UTEP.

Rice (1-10: Tulane, at SMU, UTEP, at Houston, at Tulsa.

BLOCK PARTY: The Herd blocked 14 shots in its Feb. 2 win over UCF, including nine by senior center Nigel Spikes.

The 6-foot-10 Spikes has 47 blocks this season and is seventh in school history with 110 for his career.

KANE WATCH: Dre Kane is moving up in several Marshall career lists.

Kane is 19th all-time in Herd scoring (1,390) and 10th in assists (396). He's tied for 15th in free throws made (315), tied for 17th in 3-point field goals (107) and tied for 14th in steals (116).

The junior guard is ranked 11th in C-USA scoring (14.4), first in assists (7.2), sixth in steals (1.7) and third in assists/turnover ratio (1.8).

He also leads the league in minutes played (36.9).

Sports editor Rick McCann covers Marshall men's basketball for The Herald-Dispatch. Contact him at 304-526-2759 or hedge@herald-dispatch.com.

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