Marshall Begins C-USA Tourney with SMU

Special to HuntingtonNews.Net
Marshall Begins C-USA Tourney with SMU

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Marshall begins play at the Conference USA Men’s Basketball Championships against SMU Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. ET at FedExForum in Memphis, Tenn.

Every game of the tournament will be televised with the first round, including the Marshall-SMU contest, shown on CSS. The quarterfinals and semifinals will be broadcast on CBS Sports Network with Saturday’s championship game on CBS.

The sixth seeded Thundering Herd enters the tournament with an 18-12 record after finishing with a 9-7 record in Conference USA. Marshall is coming off a 79-75 win over Southern Miss on Saturday and has won four of its last six games.

One of those four wins came against SMU (13-18, 4-12 C-USA). The Herd’s 73-68 win over the Mustangs on Feb. 18 in Dallas, Texas was the only meeting between the two teams this season.

Marshall is led by All-Conference USA Second Team performer DeAndre Kane. The sophomore guard ranks fourth in the conference with 15.8 points per game, sixth in steals and ninth in assists.

Senior guard Damier Pitts has scored in double-figures in each of his last 11 games. He was named to the All-Conference USA Third Team on Monday and is averaging 14.4 points per game this season.  Pitts had a game-high 20 points against SMU in the team’s first meeting.

Robert Nyakundi of SMU joined Pitts on the third team and ranks sixth in the conference with 15.0 points per game. Marshall held Nyakundi to just 10 points in the first meeting. Landon Giles is second on the team in scoring with 10.1 points per game and scored a team-high 17 points against Marshall.

The Thundering Herd has never lost to the Mustangs holding a 7-0 record all-time and has never met in tournament play. Marshall is 2-6 all-time at the C-USA Championships and last year, as a No. 6 seed, defeated No. 11 seed Houston 97-87 before falling to No. 3 seed UTEP 77-65.

If Marshall wins on Wednesday, it will play No. 3 seed Tulsa at 3:30 p.m. ET on Thursday and televised on CBS Sports Network. If Marshall were to advance, Friday’s semifinal game would be at 4 p.m. ET on CBSSN. Saturday’s final is slated for 11:35 a.m. ET on CBS. Video streaming is available for the first round games with a paid subscription to Herd All-Access.

Marshall’s run to the C-USA Championship can be heard throughout the Thundering Herd Radio Network. Live stats can be accessed through Receive live scoring updates by following @Herd_Zone on twitter.

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