Herd Soars over Golden Eagles 79-75

Special to HuntingtonNews.Net
Herd Soars over Golden Eagles 79-75

HUNTINGTON, WVDennis Tinnon led five players in double-figures with 22 points as the Marshall men’s basketball team defeated Southern Miss 79-75 Saturday at the Cam Henderson Center.


“That’s a great win,” said Marshall head coach Tom Herrion. “I’m so proud of those kids, especially the three seniors. We beat a tremendous team and I’ve said it all along that Larry (Eustachy) has a really great team. We played a lot of things well today. I thought we finally guarded with toughness and even when they (USM) scored I thought we had more resistance today.”


Tinnon was 8-for-11 from the field and hit 6-of-9 from the free throw line including some key foul shots down the stretch. The junior forward also had a team-leading nine rebounds.


Tinnon helped the Thundering Herd (18-12, 9-7) dominate the frontcourt. Marshall outscored Southern Miss 40-24 in the paint and outrebounded the Golden Eagles 44-36.


“We got the ball inside and really pounded the paint,” Herrion said. “We got it to (Robert) Goff to start the second half with a dunk. Tinnon was really effective in the post. We did a good job of playing inside-out.”


Sophomore guard DeAndre Kane scored 17 points and made 7-of-9 free throw attempts. He added four rebounds and five assists.


Seniors Shaquille Johnson, Dago Pena, and Damier Pitts all scored in double-figures in their final game at the Cam Henderson Center. Johnson recorded 13 points, six rebounds and five assists. Pena hit back-to-back three-pointers late in the second half and finished with 10 points, four rebounds and two assists. Pitts recorded 13 points, a season-high six rebounds and four assists.


Marshall shot 51.6 percent from the field in the first half and built its biggest lead, 36-27, following two free throws by Pena with 1:50 to play. The Herd held the Golden Eagles to 36.7 percent shooting in the first half and led 36-29 at halftime.


The score was tied six times in the second half, but Marshall mainly controlled the game. Southern Miss led 62-61 with 4:50 to play, but the Herd responded with a 12-3 run to take a 73-65 lead with 1:02 remaining.


With the Golden Eagles (24-7, 11-5 C-USA) fouling often to regain possession, Marshall made 11-of-16 free throw attempts in the final two minutes, including a span of 11-for-13.


“I’ve said all along, we have some good guys shooting the ball, but we haven’t been able to make them consistently,” Herrion said. “Today we made them when they counted. Dago missed the last two but before that we made them when they counted.”


Marshall shot 68.8 percent from the free throw line while Southern Miss shot 53.8 percent. From the field, the Herd shot 44.0 percent in the second half and finished 48.2 percent for the game. The Golden Eagles shot 41.3 percent.


Marshall recorded seven blocks, four of which were from the hand of Goff who also finished with three rebounds.


Jonathan Mills led Southern Miss in scoring with 17 points. LaShay Page finished with 11 points and seven rebounds while playing all 40 minutes.


Marshall will next play in the Conference USA Tournament which begins Wednesday at FedExForum. The Herd’s opponent and game time will be determined after Saturday’s C-USA games have been completed.

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