Blazer Threes Beat Herd, 75-61

Special to HuntingtonNews.Net
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Junior DeAndre Kane scored a game-high 23 points, 18 in the second half, but the Marshall men’s basketball team could not overcome a 22-point deficit and fell to UAB 75-61 Saturday afternoon at Bartow Arena.

It was the second-straight loss for the Thundering Herd (10-14, 3-6 Conference USA) which fell to 0-9 in road games this season.

“We fell behind again,” said head coach Tom Herrion. “They made threes. We obviously did poor job of guarding the three-point shot. We are still not making enough plays defensively to change the game and put us in a better position to win.”

UAB (11-13, 3-6) shot 56.3 percent (9-of-16) from three-point range, the highest by a Marshall opponent this season. The Herd was just 3-of-14 for 21.4 percent from beyond-the-arc. Even D.D. Scarver, who entered the game as one of 10 players in the country to make at least one three-pointer in every game went cold as he finished 0-for-2 from three.

Kane’s 23 points came on 9-of-15 shooting from the field. In doing so, he passed Tyrone Phillips for 20th on Marshall’s all-time scoring list with 1,369 points. Kane is now eight points away from hall of famer Hal Greer who is No. 19 with 1,377.

Senior center Nigel Spikes continued to be a force on the defensive end with four blocks to go with six points and a team-high 10 rebounds. Spikes moved up two spots on Marshall’s career blocks list, passing Phillips and Tyler Wilkerson for seventh with 106.

Junior forward Elijah Pittman scored 15 points on 4-of-8 shooting from the field, 2-of-5 from three-point range. Scarver, a Birmingham native, had his lowest scoring output of the season with one point.

“Right now we are not getting enough consistent play out of guys,” Herrion said. “One game it’s one guy and one game it’s another guy. We just aren’t getting enough consistency.”

Marshall trailed by just two points, 19-17 with 9:16 left in the first half. However, the Herd then went nearly eight minutes (7:53) without a field goal, which allowed the Blazers to go on a 16-5 run and lead 35-22 with just under a minute to play in the half. Dennis Tinnon, who finished with nine points, scored five in the final 50 seconds as the Herd trailed 38-25 at halftime.

UAB’s lead reached 22 points, its largest of the game, 72-50 with 5:33 remaining. Marshall then went on an 11-0 run, nine of the points scored by Pittman to trail 72-61 with 2:59 left in the game. The Herd then had two turnovers and attempted just two shots the remainder of the game.

Swing was one of four Blazers to score in double figures with 13 points. Rod Rucker recorded a double-double with 18 points and 10 rebounds. Preston Purifory scored 15 and Robert Williams had 12.

Marshall lost the rebounding edge 37-29, the fourth-straight game it got outrebounded. The Herd also had 17 turnovers, but forced the Blazers into 20.

Marshall will play three of its next four games at home beginning Wednesday against Rice at 7 p.m.   //
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