Strong Second Half Not Enough, Herd Falls to No. 3 Orange

Special to HuntingtonNews.Net
File Photo (Spencer)
File Photo (Spencer)
SYRACUSE, N.Y. – Despite a season high 17 points and 15 rebounds by Dennis Tinnon, the Marshall men’s basketball team lost at No. 3 Syracuse Tuesday night in front of a crowd of 19,817 at the Carrier Dome.

The Thundering Herd (5-2) trailed by as many as 17 points mid-way through the second half, but eventually outscored the Orange 38-31 in the second period to make it interesting in the end.

“I’m proud of our effort,” said Marshall head coach Tom Herrion. “Our kids played really really hard. We didn’t always play smart or real pretty at times, but we played with great heart on the road. We have a lot of things that we have to tighten up on the offensive end of the floor that contributed to our loss tonight.”

Syracuse (9-0), which entered the game averaging 81.8 points per game, was held to a season-low 62 points. However, Marshall was also held to its season-low point total.  Against the patented Syracuse zone defense, the Herd shot a season-low 33.8 percent from the field.

As it has all season long, Marshall dominated the glass, outrebounding the Orange 46-33 including 20 offensive boards.

“We don’t believe in moral victories in our program,” Herrion said. “I think we are past that. We have a lot of good things to build off of and still a lot to work on.”

Tinnon’s double-double was his third straight and fourth of the season. The junior forward was 7-for-13 from the field, made all three free-throws and eight of his 15 rebounds were offensive.

“I put myself into good position and found some open spots,” said Tinnon who is currently averaging a double-double. “I have a feel for it (rebounding) and I’ve been doing it for a long time.”

Sophomore guard DeAndre Kane was one point shy of a double-double with nine. He tied a career high with 10 rebounds to go with a game-high five assists.

Syracuse used a 20-6 run over nearly a nine-minute span to lead 28-12 with 5:06 remaining in the first half. Marshall shot 34.6 percent from the field in the first half, 0-for-6 from three-point range, and trailed 31-18 at the break.

Marshall cut a 16-point deficit at the 10:44 mark to nine points after senior guard Damier Pitts drained Marshall’s first three-pointer of the game. The Orange led 52-41 with 4:54 to play.

An old-fashioned three-point play by Tinnon brought Marshall to within eight points, 58-50 with 1:03 to play. Senior guard Shaquille Johnson hit two deep three-pointers, the second one with 2.5 seconds to play to bring the Herd to within six points, but with not enough time remaining, the Orange held on for the 62-56 win.

Syracuse was led in scoring by Dion Waiters’ 15 points and shot 41.5 percent from the field.

Both teams struggled from three-point range, combining to go 8-for-35. Syracuse was 3-for-11 (27.3 percent) and Marshall was 5-for-24 (20.8 percent).

The Herd was 7-for-10 (70 percent) from the free throw line, its second-highest percentage of the season.

Marshall returns home to face Iona on Sunday at 2:30 p.m., the first of four consecutive home games in December.

Notes: Dennis Tinnon’s previous highs were 15 points vs. Cincinnati and 14 rebounds three different times, last occurring vs. Ohio. He has now scored in double figures in 5-of-7 games this season and now averages a double-double at 11 points and 10.4 rebounds per game. Marshall’s three highest free throw percentages have come in the Herd’s three road games.
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