First Half Defense Propels Herd to 89-82 Win

Special to HuntingtonNews.Net
First Half Defense Propels Herd to 89-82 Win

HUNTINGTON, WV Elijah Pittman and Dennis Tinnon both scored over 20 points to lead the Marshall men’s basketball team to an 89-82 win over Nevada on Saturday at the Cam Henderson Center.


The Thundering Herd (3-3) held the Wolf Pack (3-2) to just 30.4 percent (7-of-23) shooting from the field in the first half and led 40-24 at the break. Marshall never trailed in the contest and held its largest lead of 23, 64-41 with 12:39 remaining in the game. With the Herd leading 68-46 with just over 11 minutes left, the Wolf Pack went on a 16-3 run to cut the deficit to nine points, 71-62 with 7:13 remaining.


“Our defensive effort in the first 20 minutes might have been the best 20 minutes of defense since we’ve been here,” said head coach Tom Herrion. “Clearly I would have liked to play better in the second half in stretches. But (Nevada) abandoned their offense.  We took them out of any offensive flow.  They just went to spread and drive, and they put it in (Deonte) Burton’s hands.  He’s so hard to control and contain.”


The closest Nevada got to the lead was 85-80 with 58 seconds to play.


Tinnon tied a career high with 24 points on 9-of-12 shooting from the field including 2-of-3 from three-point range. Pittman was also efficient from the field, going 7-of-10 including 2-of-3 from three-point range for a career-high 22 points.


As a team, Marshall shot just 50 percent (17-of-34) from the free throw line. However, the Herd big men did their part as Pittman was 6-of-7 and Tinnon was 4-of-4. Nevada made the most of its 24 trips to the free throw line, making 19 of them for 79.2 percent.


Marshall shot a season-best 51.6 percent from the field and of its 33 field goals made, 19 of them were assisted.


“We still have a long, long way to go,” Herrion said. “Our offensive efficiency is outstanding right now.  You might chuckle or laugh because we’ve left so many points on the foul line, I understand that, but 19 assists on 33 baskets, seven turnovers.  The shots we missed, we had great looks.  Our ball movement is outstanding.”


Junior guard DeAndre Kane led the sharing with a career-high with 13 assists. With that mark and his 10 assists in his last game against Hofstra, Kane became the first player to have back-to-back double-digit assist games since the 1999-00 season when Cornelius Jackson had 10 against UNC Asheville (12/28/99) and 15 against Central Michigan (12/30/99).


Sophomore forward Jamir Hanner also reached a career-high with 10 points on a 5-of-8 shooting. He also added six rebounds in just 14 minutes of action.



The Wolf Pack, who entered the game on a three-game winning streak, was led in scoring by reigning Mountain West Co-Player of the Week Deonte Burton who scored a game-high 28 points. Nevada’s other talented guard, Malik Story, scored 25 points as he was 5-of-10 from three-point range.


Marshall will next host Morehead State on Wednesday at 7 p.m.

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