Marshall Resilient in 105-100 Triple Overtime Win

Special to HuntingtonNews.Net
Kane Scored 40 (file photo Chris Spencer
Kane Scored 40 (file photo Chris Spencer

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Sophomore guard DeAndre Kane scored a Conference USA Championships record 40 points to lead No. 6 seed Marshall to a thrilling 105-100 triple overtime win over No. 3 seed Tulsa in the quarterfinals Thursday at FedExForum in Memphis, Tenn.

The Thundering Herd (20-12) will face No. 2 seed Southern Miss (25-7) on Friday at 4 p.m. ET on CBS Sports Network. It is the first time that Marshall has made the semifinals of the Conference USA Championships.

Kane’s 40 points came on a tournament record 15 made field goals. He was also 9-of-11 from the free throw line and was 1-for-8 from three-point range while playing 54 out of a possible 55 minutes. Kane entered the game needing just 10 points for 1,000 in his career. He well exceeded that mark to become Marshall’s 49th 1,000-point scorer, a number that ranks eighth all-time.

The game saw 21 ties, 19 lead changes and many Marshall comebacks after falling behind in every period.

The Herd trialed 64-58 with 2:59 remaining in regulation, but Marshall forced four Tulsa turnovers and scored six points to end regulation tied 64-64.

Marshall trailed 74-71 with 1:02 remaining in the first overtime. Kane drained a free throw and Shaquille Johnson made two from the foul line as the Marshall defense held and the game went to a second overtime with the score tied 74-74.

The Herd trailed 85-82 with 26 seconds remaining in the second overtime. Kane made a driving layup with 19 seconds to play to cut the deficit to one point. After a made free throw by Tulsa, Marshall trailed 86-84 with 17 seconds to play. Kane then made another layup to tie the game 86-86 with 12 seconds remaining. The Marshall defense forced Eric McClellan into a turnover, one of 20 for the Golden Hurricane and the game moved to the third extra period.

Marshall’s largest deficit of the third overtime was 91-88 at the 4:04 mark. The Herd took its first lead of the period, 94-93 after a three-pointer by freshman Chris Martin with 2:54 to play. On Marshall’s next possession, senior Dago Pena made a three-pointer, was fouled and made the free throw for a four-point play. Tulsa made just two more field goals the rest of the way as the Herd increased its lead to seven points before ending with a five-point win.

“Everyone had the chance to witness a classic with that one,” said Marshall head coach Tom Herrion. “That was a classic college basketball game. I said to Doug (Wojcik, Tulsa head coach), afterwards, obviously they deserve a lot of credit. My guys know I reference boxing a lot, and that one was like the old days with Ali and Frazier and those cats, when they used to go at it. I couldn’t be more proud of a group of kids than I have in that locker room.”

Marshall battled foul trouble throughout the game as five Herd players fouled out including its second leading scorer and senior points guard Damier Pitts with just under three minutes to play in the game.

“I talked about it all season, at one point we are going to need each and every one of our players, and tonight was the night we needed everybody,” Herrion said. “We had some guys come in and make some big plays, and our older guys carried us.”

Johnson assumed the point guard position along with Kane and finished the game with a career-high 25 points. Johnson drove the lane numerous times late in the game and got to the foul line 18 times, making 14 free throws.

Along with Kane, junior Dennis Tinnon was the only Marshall player that did not foul out as he finished with 14 points, on 7-of-11 shooting, and 12 rebounds for his 10th double-double of the season.

McClellan led five Tulsa players in double figures with 25 points.

Marshall shot 48.0 percent from the field while Tulsa (17-14) shot 46.4 percent. The Herd shot 65.1 percent (28-for-43) from the free throw line and the Golden Hurricane shot 69.0 percent on 40-of-58 shooting, a new tournament record for makes and attempts.

“It was a great game, we are thrilled with the victory and now we have the opportunity to move on to the semifinals, which is something that Marshall has never done before,” Herrion said. “We have to regroup quickly and get ready for a great Southern Miss club.”

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