Marshall Rally Falls Short in 67-60 Loss

Special to HuntingtonNews.Net
Marshall Rally Falls Short in 67-60 Loss

ORLANDO, Fla. – Marshall trimmed a 14-point deficit to two points, but failed to grab the lead as the men’s basketball lost to UCF 67-60 Wednesday at UCF Arena.

The Knights (18-6, 6-3 C-USA) led by its largest margin of the game, 58-44, with 3:18 remaining. The Thundering Herd (14-10, 5-5 C-USA) went on a 16-4 run over a span of just over two minutes to trail 62-60 with 48 seconds to play.

UCF’s Marcus Jordan, who was 0-for-5 from three-point range at the time, hit his first three of the game to put the Knights up 65-60 with 15 seconds remaining. Damier Pitts missed a layup on the other end and UCF then ended the game on a dunk by Isaiah Sykes.

“He made a big play and we didn’t guard it well enough at all,” said Marshall head coach Tom Herrion.

Pitts led Marshall with 18 points on 8-of-18 shooting from the field including two three-pointers. He also had a game-high seven assists.

Senior guard Shaquille Johnson recorded 10 points, five rebounds and three assists.

Senior guard Dago Pena was 3-of-4 from three-point range to score nine points. Sophomore guard DeAndre Kane also scored nine points to go with five rebounds.

Marshall was outrebounded 40-36, just the fourth time all season it has had less boards than its opponent. The Herd allowed 15 offensive rebounds which allowed 20 second chance points by the Knights. It tied for the most allowed by Marshall all season.

The Herd shot 39 percent from the field and 36.8 percent (7-for-19) from three-point range. Marshall ran into problems at the free-throw line where it made 7-of-15 attempts (46.7 percent), including  4-for-11 in the second half.

Marshall had just 10 turnovers, but some that led directly to easy buckets.

“Some of our turnovers were outlet passes that turned to dunks,” Herrion said. “They were too easy, unguardable, indefensible turnovers.”

 UCF shot 45.5 percent from the field and 26.3 percent (5-for-19) from three-point range. The Knights also struggled from the free throw line as they made 12-for-21 for 57.1 percent.

UCF was led by Keith Clanton who had a game-high 20 points and seven rebounds.

Marshall will play four of its next six games at home starting with East Carolina at the Cam Henderson Center on Saturday at 7 p.m.

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