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Marshall practices shooting

Feb. 26, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

HUNTINGTON -- Every missed shot matters in a close game like Marshall University played Saturday against the UAB Blazers.

From Elijah Pittman's missed jump shot in the opening minute to Tamron Manning's 3-point miss with five seconds remaining, they're all the same.

UAB actually missed more field goal attempts (44) than Marshall (42), but the Blazers also made a few more in a 52-48 men's basketball victory. UAB connected on just 30.2 percent from the field while Marshall made a season-low 26.3 percent.

"We were so inept on offense and it led mightily to our demise," Marshall head coach Tom Herrion said Monday before practice.

Marshall (12-16, 5-8 Conference USA) was back in Cam Henderson Center for Monday's practice and the shots were pouring in.

That figures.

"It's a fickle part of the game," Herrion said.

Marshall players will get a lot of shooting practice this week with some extra time before playing again Saturday at Houston.

The Herd is ninth in the C-USA standings (eighth after removing UCF that is not eligible for the postseason because of NCAA sanctions) with three games left before the conference tournament March 13-16 at the BOK Center in Tulsa, Okla.

Marshall is idle Wednesday while 10th-place Houston (15-10, 4-8) travels west for a game at UTEP.

"We have to use the time wisely," Herrion said.

No. 19 Memphis (24-3, 13-0) clinched the C-USA regular season title and will be seeded No. 1 with a first-round bye in the tournament. Second-place Southern Miss (21-7, 10-3) has also secured a bye.

Marshall needs a strong finish to contend for a top-five finish and one of the remaining three byes.

In matter of four days Marshall went from a 54.3 percent shooting performance in a victory at UCF -- the Herd's best of the season -- to the game against UAB when there appeared to be a lid on the baskets.

Watching the video tapes confirmed what Herrion already knew.

He said the ball went in the basket from a lot of players at UCF, but not against UAB.

"You can have a guy or two having off nights, but not collectively," he said. "We missed layups, threes, mid-range. You name it we missed it."

Marshall missed 42 field goal tries and 11 free throws on Saturday.

The Herd's most missed field goals in a game was 43 against Kentucky, but there have been several games with more missed foul shots.

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