Men’s Basketball Welcomes Arkansas State Before Break

Special to HNN Provided by Herd Zone

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Coming off a 64-point victory, the Marshall men’s basketball team will take on Arkansas State, Saturday, Dec. 21, at 7 p.m. in Cam Henderson Center before taking eight days off between contests.

General admission tickets are $10 and may be purchased by going to HerdZone.com or by calling 800-THE-HERD. The game can be viewed and heard online via Herd All-Access by going to HerdZone.com. A Herd All-Access subscription for the season is $9.95 per month or $79.95 for one year.

In-game Twitter updates @HerdMBBresults and a recap from the night’s action will be available at HerdZone.com.

HAVE YOU HERD?
Back home after a four-game road swing, the Thundering Herd got back to winning form against Alice Lloyd with a 121-57 victory to snap a four-game losing streak, Tuesday night at Cam Henderson Center.

Keeping with the trend of the season, Marshall had an even scoring distribution as six members of the Herd scored in double figures, with four coming off the bench.

Marshall finished the night with a 64.7 field goal percentage on 44-of-68 shooting. The percentage marks a season high for the Herd, as does the 121 point offensive showing. The 121-point performance is the highest offensive effort from a Conference USA men’s basketball program this season.

MR. THREE-PEAT
For a third straight week and the third time this season, Marshall redshirt freshman point guard Kareem Canty (Harlem, N.Y.) was named Conference USA Freshman of the Week in men’s basketball, the league office announced Monday.

Canty played a game-high 39 minutes, scoring a team-best 16 points against West Virginia in the Chesapeake Energy Capital Classic on Dec. 14. He recorded a game-high nine assists, while keeping WVU's Juwan Staten -- one of the top five assist men nationally -- to four assists in the game. Canty also went 3-for-3 from the free throw line and grabbed three of Marshall's 10 steals, which contributed to 16 WVU turnovers.

This marks the 13th C-USA Freshman of the Week honor in the history of Marshall men’s basketball. Center Hassan Whiteside tops the record books with six weekly honors as a freshman (2009-10). DeAndre Kane ranks second with four, followed by Canty. Canty is the first to receive the honor in three consecutive weeks.

A HELPING HAND
The benefit of having a true point guard has helped the Herd greatly this year and Canty has been the primary reason for that. An average of 7.5 assists per game has the freshman ranking fourth in the country in helpers, trailing a trio of seniors, while he is the top assist man in C-USA. Canty has recorded three double-doubles on the season, all coming from a combination of points and assists. He most recently recorded 14 assists against Alice Lloyd (Dec. 17), setting a career best and tying for fourth-most steals in a single game by a member of the Herd in the history of the program.

THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME
The Herd is 5-1 this season in the friendly confines of Cam Henderson Center and 43-12 at home under coach Tom Herrion. With added support from its Kelly Green-clad fans, Marshall is 355-111 at the Henderson Center over 33 seasons, good for a .761 winning percentage.

POINTS OF EMPHASIS
Marshall has yet to win a game this season in which it failed to reach the 70-point plateau. The Herd is 1-3 when scoring between 70 and 79 points and 3-1 when scoring above 80. Having a 5-2 record when keeping opponents below 79 points of offense, Marshall is 0-4 when allowing the opposition to score more than 80 points.

SPREADING THE WEALTH
With numerous scoring threats in the Marshall lineup, four members of the Herd are averaging double figures in scoring, three of which have become a mainstay in the Herd’s starting lineup: Canty with 17.5, sophomore Chris Thomas (Denver) with 12.1 and freshman Ryan Taylor (Indianapolis, Ind.) with 12.4. The Herd has received scoring help from more than its top four scorers as Marshall has had three or more of its own score in double figures in 10 of the 11 games this season.

ON THE LINE
Free throws have been a point of emphasis for the Herd this season as Marshall is 4-0 when converting more attempts from the charity stripe than opponents and 1-6 when making less free throws than the opposition. The Herd is shooting 59.9 percent from the line through its first 11 games (202-of-337). Marshall’s 135 missed free throw attempts rank first in NCAA Division I men’s basketball.

SCOUTING THE RED WOLVES
A member of the Sun Belt Conference, Arkansas State will be the second Sun Belt school the Herd faces this season. The first was Western Kentucky, Nov. 26, a 74-64 win for Marshall.

The Red Wolves are currently in a two-game losing slide after double-digit defeats, at Nebraska (Dec. 14) and at home vs. Toledo (Dec. 17). Arkansas State is 2-3 away from home this season, with all three losses having come by double figures.

A pair of seniors have led Arkansas State thus far this season as forward Kirk Van Slyke is averaging 16.9 points per game, while guard Melvin Johnson has added 16.1 per game. Both Van Slyke and Johnson have started in all nine games for the Red Wolves this season. The pair is part of a four-man senior class that makes up the bulk of the Arkansas State lineup and production in regards to scoring, rebounding and assists.

The Herd and Red Wolves have met once before, as part of the Kentucky Invitational, Dec. 16, 1988 in Lexington, Ky. Arkansas State took the neutral site contest, 81-73.

UP NEXT
The Herd will return from its holiday break with a road contest at South Carolina, Monday, Dec. 30, at 7 p.m. The game will be televised on Comcast Sports Southeast (CSS).

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