Herd Homebound for Two Weeks

Special to HNN Provided by Herd Zone

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. –Marshall men’s basketball (6-16, 2-7) will return to the friendly confines of Cam Henderson Center for three consecutive home games, beginning with Rice (6-14, 3-5) on Thursday at 7 p.m. ET.

In addition to live tweets from @HerdMBB, live stats and live video will be available through HerdZone.com. The official live radio broadcast can be found on the Thundering Herd IMG Sports Network and College Sports Live.

HAVE YOU HERD?
Ryan Taylor (Indianapolis) posted his ninth double-double of the year, but a costly momentum shift toward the end of the first half hurt Marshall in an 81-57 loss at Louisiana Tech on Saturday at Thomas Assembly Center in Ruston, La. Taylor had team-highs of 20 points and 12 rebounds, while Justin Edmonds (Albion, Mich.) was the only other Herd player to reach double figures with 17 on 5-of-15 shooting from the field. Kenneth Smith of LA Tech posted a double-double with 12 assists and 12 points, to go with eight rebounds and two steals.

A WIN WOULD…

-          Be the Herd’s third in the last four games

-          Give Marshall a 9-2 advantage in the series versus Rice

-          Extend the Herd’s win streak in the series to six games

-          Extend Marshall’s home win streak against Rice to five games

-          Give the Herd a two-game home win streak

 

TAYLOR-MADE
The “hub” of the Herd, Ryan Taylor (Indianapolis), leads Marshall in scoring (15.1/game), rebounding (8.6/game) and blocking (0.8/game). He is No. 2 on the team with 2.7 assists per game, and has posted double-doubles in his last four consecutive outings. His nine double-doubles on the year ranks No. 2 in Conference USA and No. 28 among all Division I men’s basketball players.

BATTLE OF THE “ROOKIES”
For the third time this season, Marshall will face a coach in his first year at the helm of his program when it hosts Mike Rhoades of Rice on Thursday. The Herd’s Dan D’Antoni is one of four C-USA coaches in the first year at their school, along with Michael Curry of Florida Atlantic, Rhoades, and Doc Sadler of Southern Miss. Marshall is 1-1 against “rookie” coaches so far this season, falling at Florida Atlantic (Jan. 17) and defeating Southern Miss (Jan. 29).

LONG RANGE SHOOTOUT
Thursday’s game will be a meeting of the two Conference USA teams with the most 3-pointers made per game. Rice tops the league with 9.0 per outing, and the Herd posts 8.0 per game. Marshall’s 569 total 3-point attempts this season ranks No. 1 in C-USA, and is No. 6 among all Division I men’s basketball programs. The Herd’s Austin Loop(South Webster, Ohio) is No. 1 in the conference with 149 attempts from long range, and is No. 15 in the nation.

CLOSE CALLS
Ten of the Herd’s 22 games have been decided by 10 or fewer points, and Marshall is 1-9 in those contests. Three of those 10 games were decided by a combined 11 points. The Herd’s lone single-figure victory came Jan. 24 versus UTEP, 78-71. Each of Marshall’s other five wins has been decided by 14 or more points.

LET’S GET SOCIAL
Keep up with the latest news about Herd basketball by liking the team’s official Facebook page: Marshall University Basketball. For live in-game updates and news, follow@HerdMBB on Twitter. Want to see photos and behind-the-scenes action? Give @HerdMBB a follow on Instagram.

SCOUTING THE OWLS
Rice (6-14, 3-5) is in the midst of a four-game road swing, as well as a three-game slump. The Owls are particularly potent from 3-point range, as they lead the league (No. 16 nationally) with 9.0 made per contest. Most recently, they drained a season-high 15 from long range, including 12 in the first half alone, but faded down the stretch in a 75-65 setback at North Texas on Saturday. Marcus Jackson and Seth Gearhart pace the team offensively with 14.5 and 14.2 points per game, respectively.

The Herd leads the all-time series, 8-2, and has won the last five meetings. Marshall’s last loss against the Owls came March 11, 2009, when Rice knocked the Herd out of the C-USA Tournament first round, 60-59. Marshall is 4-1 when hosting the Owls, with the lone loss being the teams’ first meeting on Feb. 8, 2006: a 78-75 overtime battle.

UP NEXT
Marshall will stay at home for its next two games, beginning with North Texas on Saturday at 7 p.m. at Cam Henderson Center. For all the latest information about Marshall men’s basketball, follow @HerdMBB on Twitter.

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