HUNTINGTON — It was a great crowd, a home season best of 6,056 for a team averaging a Conference USA third-best 5,400-plus for a team hovering around .500 this year.
While many hoped Marshall would play better than last Saturday’s loss at UTEP, hardly anyone outside of the team and coaches was expecting the great performance of the men’s basketball team against East Carolina.
The Herd jumped out to a 12-0 lead, then 18-2 and never looked back in a game Marshall led from start to finish, never closer than 14 points after halftime.
22 points by junior guard DeAndre Kane, moving his into a tie for No. 24 in scoring for the Herd all-time, led Marshall to a 77-56 romp over East Carolina on Saturday evening at the Cam Henderson Center.
The Thundering Herd improved to 9-9 on the season and 2-1 in Conference USA, while the Pirates fell to 11-6 overall and 2-2 in C-USA.
East Carolina Coach Jeff Lebo summed the game up quickly with the media.
“Congratulations to Marshall … they took it to us right from the beginning. They had us on our heels,” said Lebo.
“I thought they were ready to play and they deserved to win this game. Their size and strength was a huge factor in this game.
“We couldn’t finish. We missed a lot of easy ones around the rim. They came out with the right mindset.”
Former Marshall, St. Louis Rams and Chicago Bears long-snapper Chris Massey is honored at the Marshall game with East Carolina. To his right is M-Club President and new Mayor of Huntington Steve Williams, a former receiver and quarterback for the Thundering Herd. (Herd Insider photo by Brad Helton)
Marshall extended its all-time series lead against ECU to 13-6, including 9-1 in games played in Huntington.
Marshall Coach Tom Herrion was pleased with the way his club was focused with a week between the loss in El Paso, Texas to tonight’s dominating win over the Pirates.
“I thought our preparation was outstanding. We practiced really well for the majority of the week,” said Herrion.
“I thought we took advantage of managing bodies in terms of when to ease off a little bit. We looked fresh tonight. We looked like the fresher team.
“We were able to game plan a little longer for East Carolina, a day or two longer, with no mid-week game.
“We hadn’t had that here this early in the (conference) season because of the West Virginia game historically.”
Due to WVU moving to the Big 12 Conference, the annual mid-January meeting with Marshall was moved to early December, giving the Herd six days between the loss to UTEP and tonight’s big win over ECU.
“It was a terrific win against a really good club that came in here playing as well as any team in our conference,” said Herrion.
“We defended. Our defense was outstanding for the majority of the game.”
Marshall held an ECU club averaging nearly eight 3-pointers on 24 attempts to only 4-of-16 from behind the arc, only 25 percent.
Overall, at the Pirates were held to 56 points — a team averaging 79 per game — with ECU shooting 33 percent from the floor (21-of-64) and 48 percent from the line (10-of-21), for a club that averages nearly 70 percent from the charity stripe on the year.
In fact, Marshall held ECU without a basket for the first 6:49 of the game as Marshall jetted out to a 12-0 lead.
The Pirates made just two of its first 21 field goal attempts as the Herd’s lead swelled to 27-4 with 7:57 to play in the half.
Redshirt freshman DeVince Boykins’ three-pointer with 4:08 remaining extended the lead for Marshall to 38-13, up 25 at that point.
Through the first 20 minutes, Marshall turned the ball over only three times, shot 50 percent from the field, and led 43-23 at half.
Robert Goff, off a pick-and-roll, lays in two of his six points (along with six rebounds) in the Herd's win against ECU, 77-56. Marshall outscored the Pirates in the paint, 52-to-30. (Herd Insider photo by Brad Helton)
The Herd dominated inside, outscoring the Pirates 33-12 in the paint and 17-4 off turnovers in the first half.
“We wanted to attack inside,” said Herrion. “Just because it says points in the paint doesn’t mean you have to jam it in … jam it in.
“We played on the bounce in the paint. We posted up some different guys in the paint. We executed really well in our sets.”
Nigel Spikes got the Herd scoring started with a dunk, finishing with three points, four blocks (tying a career-best) and pulling 11 rebounds in the win over the Pirates. (Herd Insider photo by Brad Helton)
Senior Nigel Spikes recorded the Herd’s first field goal with a dunk, followed by junior Elijah Pittman dunking for a 5-0 lead.
DeAndre Kane nails a three, part of 22 points he would score in leading the Herd to a 77-56 win over ECU, with Marshall improving to 9-9 overall, but 2-1 in C-USA. (Herd Insider photo by Brad Helton)
Kane next hit a three, then Pittman rebounded a miss and followed with another score in the paint for a 10-0 lead, leading Lebo to take a time out at 15:59 of the first half.
But Robert Goff entered the game and quickly stretched the lead to 12-0 with a hook shot in the paint.
Robert Sampson, son of former Virginia center Ralph Sampson, finally put the Pirates on the board with a bank shot at the 14:11 mark of the first half.
Back came the Herd as Pitt hit a stickleback, Kane made a lay-up and senior Dennis Tinnon banked in a lay-up for an 19-2 lead at 12:30 to go in first to lead by 20 at the half.
Dennis Tinnon goes up for two of his 11 points, hitting 5-of-12 from the field and 1-of-1 from the free throw line, and recorded his fifth double-double of the year with 12 rebounds. (Herd Insider photo by Brad Helton)
Marshall came out a little flat to start the second half, and it appeared East Carolina, who came back from being down 17 a week ago to UCF to win in overtime, then down 10 to Houston on Wednesday before rallying for a win, was going to take advantage.
The Pirates scored the first six points of the second half to cut their deficit to 43-29, but the 14-point margin was as close as they would get.
“A team like that is never out of the game. I’ve watched enough tape. They play from behind as well as any team in America,” said Herrion of the Pirates.
“They are an amazing comeback team. We got off to a pretty good start at UTEP the other day.
“Our crowd energizes us. Like any team that play in their building, we have a security blanket. Clearly we fed off it and our fans fed off our play.
“It’s a lot easier to play from ahead when the ball goes in the basket. It energizes your defense.”
Marshall responded with the next 11 points of the game to take a 54-29 lead with 15:14 remaining.
Marshall assisted 19 of 30 made baskets in the victory while forcing East Carolina to turn the ball over 18 times, six more than the Pirate’s average of around 12 per game.
The Herd scored 24 points off ECU turnovers.
D.D. Scarver slices in for a lay-up, part of the Herd's 52 points in the paint in the 77-56 win over East Carolina. (Herd Insider photo by Brad Helton)
Kane added eight assists and three steals to his game high 22 points.
Tinnon recorded his fifth of the season and 16th double-double of his career with 11 points and 12 rebounds, adding two assists and a steal.
Pittman’s game high four steals went along with 19 points, four rebound and two assists, while Spikes’ four blocks (tied with Sampson for top game honors) complimented 11 rebounds, three points and an assist.
Marshall scored 52 points in the paint — including five dunks — and saw its largest lead come via a pair of free throws by Kane with 8:18 left in the game, going up 29 points at 67-38.
ECU was led by Robert Sampson who finished with 10 points, 17 rebounds and the four blocks. He was one short of his career best on boards.
Maurice Kemp came into the game leading Conference USA with 18.3 points, and grabbing 8.4 rebounds per game, but the Herd held Kemp to just 5-of-15 shooting for 10 points and only 3 rebounds.
Dennis Tinnon gets physical with Maurice Kemp of East Carolina, holding him (literally, here) to just 10 points and three rebounds on an average of 18 points and 8.4 rebounds. (Herd Insider photo by Brad Helton)
“He has struggled on the road against the higher level players,” said Lebo.
“He’s 6-foot-7 and about 185-lbs., and got beat around tonight with those big bodies around the rim.”
Senior point guard Miguel Paul was held to 4-of-14 shooting, but was 8-of-9 from the free throw line for a team-high 17 points.
He was also guarded hard by a number of Herd players, including Tamron Manning, Kane, Boykins and Pittman, forcing the pre-season All-C-USA player into 7 turnovers against five assists.
Tamron Manning was one of many players for Marshall playing great defense on East Carolina, and here the freshman misses his only three attempt but ended the night with two points and one assist before fouling out. (Herd Insider photo by Brad Helton)
“We played a lot like we practiced all week and that’s a credit to our kids and my staff,” said Herrion. “This is something we have to build on. Now we have to bottle it up and take it on the road.”
The Herd will be on the road for its next two games, the first of which will take place Wednesday, Jan. 23 at Southern Miss, who improved to 15-4, and leads C-USA with a 4-0 mark.
Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. Eastern in Huntington, 6 p.m. Central in Hattiesburg, Miss. and will air on Comcast's CSS (channel 68 on Huntington's and Putnam County's Comcast Cable). Radio coverage begins on SuperTalk 94.1 FM and AM 930 and 93.7 FM, The Dawg at 5:30 p.m. with College Basketball Today, presented by First Sentry Bank.
MARSHALL POSTGAME NOTES for Jan. 19, 2013
Marshall (9-9, 2-1 C-USA) 77 - East Carolina (11-6, 2-2 C-USA) 56
Cam Henderson Center – 6,056 (largest of the season)
Marshall Starters (Career/Season): Dennis Tinnon (52/17), Nigel Spikes (51/18), D.D. Scarver (18/18), Elijah Pittman (16/16), DeAndre Kane (79/12)
Series History: Marshall leads 13-6, 9-1 in Huntington.
… improves the Thundering Herd to 8-1 inside the Henderson Center this season.
… makes Coach Tom Herrion 132-73 all-time and 52-44 during his three seasons at MU.
… improved Marshall to 1,392-1,014-2 all-time.
… moves Marshall’s all-time Henderson Center record to 346-107 and 38-19 in C-USA home games.
… makes the Herd 14-4 in conference home games under Coach Tom Herrion.
Team Notes …
… A 3-pointer by DeAndre Kane early in the first half extended the Herd’s streak of games with a made three pointer to 696.
… The Herd built a 12-0 lead before the Pirates could score to start the game. MU would end up putting together an 18-2 run in the first 6:12 of the contest and a 27-4 run over the first 12 minutes of the game’s opening half.
… The combined halftime margin in the past two home games of 43 (20 pts. by Tulsa on Jan. 12 and 23 by East Carolina tonight) is the best total in consecutive home games since a combined 48 in games against Troy on Dec. 12, 2009 and Brescia on Dec. 16, 2009.
… The Herd’s 20-point halftime lead is the second largest lead it has had in a C-USA game in the history of its time in the conference.
… For the first time this season MU was victorious when it lost the rebounding battle (47-to-42). It was 0-6 previously.
… Marshall scored a season-high 52 points in the paint. 52 are the most since 56 against Tulsa in the last season’s three overtime game at the C-USA tournament March 8, 2012.
… The last time MU scored more than 52 paints in the point against a Division I team was against ECU Feb. 6, 2010 when it tossed in 54.
D.D. Scarver hits one of his three 3s in the game, which he has done in 17 of 18 games this season. He finished with 11 points and four assists in the win over ECU. (Herd Insider photo by Brad Helton)
Individual Notes …
… Junior D.D. Scarver has made a 3-point basket in all 17 games of his MU career, finishing the contest with 11 points, giving him his 15th career game with double-digit points.
… Junior Elijah Pittman scored 19 points, for his 14th career game with 10 or more points. Pittman has scored in double-digits in 10 of his last 11 games.
Pittman’s four steals is a career-best, topping the two he had at Villanova earlier this season.
… Senior Dennis Tinnon put together his fifth double-double of the season and the Herd’s 10th for a member of the squad with 11 points and 12 rebounds.
The senior forward has 16 career double-doubles to his name, and has 28 career games with 10 or more rebounds. He has eight such games this season, including four of his past five games.
Tinnon also now has scored in double-digits in 28 career games and in 11 times this season.
… Senior Nigel Spikes pulled down 11 rebounds, his 14th career game with 10 or more rebounds and sixth time this season.
Spikes also tied a career-high with four blocks, previously blocking four shots in the Herd’s win earlier this season against the University of District of Columbia at Hofstra University on Nov. 16, 2012.
Spikes four blocks give him 86 in his career, still No. 10 all-time at Marshall. No. 9 is Latece Williams (2000-02), who blocked 99 shots in his Marshall career.
… Junior DeAndre Kane put in a game-high 22 points which bumped him into a tie for 24th in scoring at Marshall in career points. He now has 1,277 points and is tied with Travis Young (1997-01), passing Carlos “Bunny” Gibson who had 1,273 points (1975-79). Up next at No. 23 in scoring is Malik Hightower with 1,289 points (1991-85) and No. 22 Bob Redd with 1,295 points (1965-68).
With his 22 points, Kane has 68 career games with 10 or more points, including 10 this season, and Kane has 18 career games with more than 20 in a game.
Kane also added in eight assists, his 13th game this season with five or more assists, but first since 13 against Nevada, Nov. 24, 2012. With 8 assists, Kane now has 344 in his career, and needs five to tie Travis Young (349, 1997-2001) for tenth all-time in helpers at Marshall.
The junior guard made five free throws to move to 21st all-time in free throws made with 292 career makes. He passed No. 22 Tamar Slay (289, 1998-2002) and No. 21 Tyrone Phillips (291, 1989-93). Mark Patton is up next at No. 20 with 298 free throw attempts (2002-06).
Kane picked up three steals, which moves him into a tie at 20th all-time in career steals at Marshall, with 105 in his three years. Kane is tied with Derrick Wright (1996-2000) and George Washington (1978-82), as Kane passed Chris Ross at No. 22 (104, 2005-07) and Tyrone Phillips at No. 23 (102, 1989-93). Next up is No. 19 in steals, Hargrave Military Academy head coach and former Herd point guard A.W. Hamilton, with 107 (2002-05).
Woody Woodrum is Herd Insider Publisher. Comments and questions head to