HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – The Thundering Herd hit its first six shots of the game and never looked back, grabbing a dominant 95-65 win over Southern Miss in Conference USA action Saturday evening at the Cam Henderson Center.

Marshall (11-4, 1-1 C-USA) was led by 20-point performances from Johnny Thomas and Damier Pitts.  Thomas recorded the first double-double of his career, grabbing 11 boards to go along with his 20 points.  Pitts was a perfect 10-10 from the free throw line and dished out four assists.

“We were really locked in, I thought Damier had great control out of the box. DeAndre was outstanding; we had contributions down the list,” head coach Tom Herrion said.  “Our execution was tremendous and defensively I thought we were outstanding.”

The Herd knocked down its first six shots en route to a 13-6 advantage four minutes into the game.  DeAndre Kane, who finished the night with 19 points, nine rebounds and eight assists, scored seven in the run.

Southern Miss (12-3, 1-1 C-USA) closed the gap to three points, 16-13, before Marshall went on a run to open up its first double-digit lead of the game.  The lead would not go below eight points the rest of the way as the Herd would lead by as many as 13 in the first half before going into the half with a 42-30 advantage.

As was the case in the first half, MU was strong out of the gates in the latter half, hitting five of its first six shots to extend its lead to 16 points, 52-36.  The lead would keep growing, reaching 31 points thanks to a seven-point play with 10:43 left in the contest.  The Golden Eagles were whistled for three technical fouls on one trip down the floor.  Pitts his 6-of-6 free throws and Kane notched another to make it a 74-43 game in favor of the Herd.

The lead never went below 26 points the rest of the way as MU would finish with the 95-65 victory.

Tirrell Baines recorded 17 points and currently stands at 999 for his career.  He will look to become the 46th 1,000-point scorer in program history on Monday against Savannah State.

Gary Flowers led USM with 20 points, hitting 8-21 attempts from the floor.

After being outrebounded 26-17 in the first half, the Herd crashed the glass, 25-14 in the final half to finish the night with a 42-40 rebounding advantage.  Marshall also shots lights out, hitting 54% of their shots and 57.6% in the second half.  Defensively, the Herd kept USM in check, limiting them to just 34.8% shooting on the night.

Another quick turnaround awaits the Herd as it will face Savannah State at 6 p.m. on Monday at the Cam Henderson Center.  Conference play continues next Saturday when Marshall will travel to Memphis.  The Herd and Tigers will tip off at Noon et in a game that will be televised by CSS.