Herd to Face Tulsa, Saturday, on CBS Sports Network

Special to HNN Provided by Herd Zone

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Remaining in search of its first Conference USA win of the season, the Marshall men’s basketball team (6-12, 0-3 C-USA) will look to be successful in its fourth attempt as it welcomes Tulsa (7-10, 2-1 C-USA) to the Cam Henderson Center on Saturday at noon. The contest will be televised nationwide on CBS Sports Network.

General admission tickets are still remain and may be purchased by going to HerdZone.com or by calling 800-THE-HERD.

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

Despite being prepared for the North Texas transition attack, the Thundering Herd was unable to slow the attack enough to avoid dropping the contest, 80-65, on Thursday night. Marshall failed to lead for any part of the game.

Freshman guard Kareem Canty’s (Harlem, N.Y.) game-high 26 points, along with freshman forward Ryan Taylor’s (Indianapolis) 22 points combined for 48 of Marshall’s 65 total points on the night. Taylor was hard for North Texas to stop as he collected his fifth career double-double with 14 rebounds to pair with his 22 points.

From the field, North Texas finished 28-of-56 for a clean 50 percent, while Marshall ended 20-of-65 for 30.8 percent.

The Herd is 6-3 this season in the friendly confines of Cam Henderson Center and 44-14 at home under coach Tom Herrion. With added support from its kelly green-clad fans, Marshall is 356-113 at the Henderson Center over 33 seasons, a .760 winning percentage.

On the bus from Charleston, W.Va. to Huntington while returning from Texas on Sunday afternoon, coach Tom Herrion announced to the team that he was awarding freshman guard Austin Loop (South Webster, Ohio) a scholarship. Loop has appeared in 11 games on the season, all off the bench, and is averaging 3.5 points and 6.0 minutes. Loop has found off-the-court success as well, as he has posted a 3.5 grade point average, which is a team high.

With the starting five having been adjusted by coach Herrion as a result of bumps and bruises to members of the Herd, it seems that Herrion and his staff have settled on a lineup. For the last eight games, the starting five has been freshman guard Kareem Canty (Harlem, N.Y.), sophomore swingman TyQuane Goard (Charleston, W.Va.), sophomore guard DeVince Boykins (Forest City, N.C.), Taylor and Thomas. The group has posted a 2-6 record when starting together and is now the most used starting lineup to this point by Herrion.

Marshall has yet to win a game this season in which it failed to reach the 70-point plateau. The Herd is 2-9 when scoring 79 or less points and 4-3 when scoring above 80. Having a 6-4 record when keeping opponents below 79 points of offense, Marshall is 0-8 when allowing the opposition to score more than 80 points.

Free throws have been a point of emphasis for the Herd this season as Marshall is 4-2 when converting more attempts from the charity stripe than opponents and 2-10 when making fewer free throws than the opposition. The Herd is shooting 60.5 percent from the line this season (318-of-526). Marshall’s 208 missed free throw attempts rank first in NCAA Division I men’s basketball.

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 16.9, Taylor with 14.1 and Thomas with 11.2. Smith is knocking on the double-digit doorstep as he is averaging 8.9 points off the bench.

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 15 of 18 games this season. Unfortunately, it has not always been enough as the Herd is 5-10 this season when three or more of its own score in double figures and 1-2 when two or less reach 10 points.

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 6.4 assists per game has the freshman ranking 11th in the country, 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.

Canty has led or tied for the lead in assists for the Herd in all 18 games this season.

Having won three of its last four games, Tulsa is most recently coming off of a 90-86 overtime defeat at Charlotte, Thursday night. Tulsa arrives in Huntington with a 0-6 mark in road contests this season.

A trio of Golden Hurricane members are averaging double figures in points, with sophomore guard James Woodard leading the way with 14.4 points per game. Woodard also leads the way on the glass with 5.9 rebounds per game in his starting role.

Tulsa leads the all-time series, 8-6, with the Herd having won the last two meetings. The two sides last met Jan. 9, 2013 in Huntington, in a 79-61 Marshall triumph.

The Herd will re-take the road to continue league play with contests at Rice (Jan. 23) and Louisiana Tech (Jan. 25), with both tip times set for 8 p.m. ET.

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