Marshall Holds Off Savannah State, 71-57

Jan. 10, 2011

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HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Senior Tirrell Baines recorded the 1,000th point of his career as the Thundering Herd men's basketball team finished the non-conference portion of its home schedule with a 71-57 victory over Savannah State Monday evening at the Cam Henderson Center.

Baines became the 46th player in program history to reach the plateau. With 46 1,000-point scorers, the Marshall program is tied for ninth in the nation with West Virginia and Cincinnati. Baines finished the night with eight points and nine rebounds.

"It is a good accomplishment," Baines said. "I would rather win than hit 1,000 points. We still have a long season ahead of us. Memphis is up next, that is what my focus is on."

DeAndre Kane led the way for Marshall (12-4, 1-1 C-USA) with 18 points. The Conference USA Freshman of the Week hit 7-of-11 shots while recording seven boards.

"It was an excellent win. I was thrilled on how we came out and played to start the game coming off short rest after that emotional win on Saturday night," head coach Tom Herrion said. "We showed great signs of maturity tonight. Obviously, I wish we played better the second half, but we had nothing in the tank; plain and simple."

The Herd was lights out to open up the first half, hitting an amazing 12 of its first 13 shots along with its first six three-pointers. The second miss of the half for MU came with just six minutes remaining in the period.

Marshall scored the first 11 points of the game before a three by Preston Blackmon put Savannah State (2-17) on the board. Damier Pitts responded with a trey that put the lead back to 11 and it would never see single digits again.

The 12-13 start from the field for MU propelled it to a 31-8 lead with 6:44 left in the first half, the most it would be all night. That run was wrapped up by three-consecutive three-pointers, two from Shaquille Johnson and one from Dago Pena.

After being down 22 (37-15) at the half, Savannah State's defense stepped it up early in the second stanza. Marshall would miss its first nine shots from the floor before a Kane jumper ended the drought with 12:23 left in the game.

The Tigers would continue to inch back, cutting their deficit to ten points on two occasions, but the Herd stepped it up in the end, taking the 71-57 win.

Pitts continued his hot start since returning to the squad. The junior guard tallied 15 points and four assists while hitting 9-10 free throws. He is 19-of-20 from the charity stripe over the last two contests. Shaq Johnson scored 11 points.

The Herd was once again solid on defense and on the boards, outrebounding SSU by a 40-25 margin and outshooting them 50%-33.9%.

Joshua Montgomery led a trio of double-digit scorers for the Tigers with a game-high 20 points. Jovonni Shuler notched 16.

On Saturday, Marshall will continue C-USA play, traveling to Memphis. The Tigers enter the tilt with a record of 11-3. The game, which will start at Noon, will be televised on CSS. IMG College has also secured the rights to the broadcast, allowing it to be televised locally on WSAZ.