Special to HuntingtonNews.Net

MEMPHIS, Tenn  (HNN) - Will Coleman scored 19 points while bringing in 11 rebounds to lead the University of Memphis men’s basketball team to a 77-61 win over the Thundering Herd on Saturday at FedEx Forum.

“We were thoroughly out-played, and that is obviously disappointing,” head coach Tom Herrion said. “We were really poor defending, and rebounding has got to be our staple. We didn’t meet either of those (goals) especially in the first 20 minutes of the game.”

“Memphis is an outstanding team. They played at a very high level, and we didn’t respond. Then when we did, we panicked a little on offense.”

The Herd (12-5, 1-2 C-USA) found itself in an early 8-2 hole, hitting just one of its first five attempts while turning the ball over three times. Marshall fought back, though, to knot the score at 15-15 as Dago Pena hit MU’s third three-pointer of the game with 11:51 left in the first half.

Memphis (13-4, 2-1 C-USA) quickly responded as a layup by Antonio Barton sent the Tigers on a 20-0 run over the next six minutes. Marshall missed its next nine shots while committing five turnovers. Will Coleman scored six Tiger points in the run.

A Tirrell Baines layup finally ended the stretch and a trey by DeAndre Kane would cut the deficit to as little as 14 points, 40-26, but a D.J. Stephens layup and ensuing free throw in the final minute gave Memphis a 45-28 advantage heading into the break.

In the second half, Marshall came out firing, cutting the deficit to ten points, 51-41, just over five minutes into the half, but once again the Tigers came right back, extending the lead back up to 18, 66-48, with eight minutes left in the contest. Marshall would not be able to get closer than 13 points the rest of the way as the Tigers cruised to the 77-61 win.

Kane led the Herd with 16 points while Baines recorded 15 to go along with a team-high nine boards. Damier Pitts tallied 14 while going a perfect 5-5 from the free throw line.

Coleman’s 19 points led the Tigers while Charles Carmouche notched 16 and Will Barton scored 15.

The Tigers finished with a decided edge in rebounds (39-29) and shooting (50.9%-37.0%)


On Wednesday, the Herd will be back in action , taking on West Virginia in the annual Chesapeake Energy Capital Classic. Tip is set for 8 p.m. at the Charleston Civic Center. Conference USA play resumes next Saturday as MU will face East Carolina at 7 p.m. in the Cam Henderson Center.