Marshall Drops Game at Memphis

Special to HuntingtonNews.Net
Marshall Drops Game at Memphis

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – A game that saw 13 lead changes finished with Marshall on the losing end of a 83-76 game against Memphis Saturday in front of 17,337 fans at FedExForum.

“I feel very badly for our kids,” said Marshall head coach Tom Herrion. ”They gave great effort tonight and played with great heart. We just had too many breakdowns defensively to get the job done.”

The seven-point margin was the closest the Thundering Herd (18-8, 4-3 C-USA) had ever come to defeating the Tigers (15-6, 6-1 C-USA) in Memphis.

Marshall held its largest lead of seven points early in the second half, but battled foul trouble down the stretch and dropped its fourth consecutive game.

The Herd was led by senior guard Shaquille Johnson who scored a season-high 21 points including three three-pointers.

Senior guard Damier Pitts scored 19 points on 5-of-8 shooting from the field and did damage from the free throw line where he was 8-for-10. As a team, Marshall was 22-for-31 (71 percent) from the charity stripe, its best percentage in seven games.

Sophomore guard DeAndre Kane scored 15 points, 12 of which came in the first half.

Marshall made nine of its first 14 field goal attempts and led 21-17 with 11:50 to play in the first half. Later in the period, Shaquille Johnson hit back-to-back three-pointers to give Marshall a 37-32 lead at the 5:12 mark.

Memphis went on an 8-4 run, but Marshall still led at the half, 41-40 as both teams shot 50 percent from the field.

After Marshall built a quick seven-point lead at the 17:57 mark, the Tigers began to chip away at the Herd advantage. Like Marshall, Memphis had many opportunities at the free throw line as it was 21-for-32 (65.6 percent).

It was a free throw by Memphis’ Wesley Witherspoon with 7:30 remaining that gave Memphis a 63-62 advantage and was the final lead change of the night.
“There was a stretch midway through the second half that we got a little loose offensively and turned the ball over in two or three straight possessions,” Herrion said.

Marshall’s Dennis Tinnon, who is among the nation’s leaders in rebounds, was held without a rebound in the first half and finished with four boards to go with four points.

Robert Goff had five blocked shots, all in the first half. It was the most blocks by a Herd player since Hassan Whiteside had five against Western Carolina on March 16, 2010.

Memphis guard Will Barton led all players with 29 points on 11-for-20 shooting and added eight rebounds.

As a team, Memphis shot 55.6 percent from the field while Marshall shot 44.4 percent.

Marshall will next be in action on Wednesday when it hosts Tulane at 7 p.m. ET.

NOTES: Marshall had been 12-0 when leading at the half before Saturday’s loss… The Herd dropped to 10-2 when making more free throws than its opponent as it held a 22-21 advantage at the line… There was a total of 57 fouls called in the game… Dennis Tinnon fouled out with 3:31 remaining… Robert Goff fouled out with 3:00 remaining… Marshall’s previous best outing in Memphis was last season’s 77-61 loss on Jan. 15.

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