Jan. 28, 2006
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HOUSTON - Cougar reserve Sam Anderson scored 13 points to lead Houston to a 69-56 victory over the Thundering Herd Saturday evening at Hofheinz Pavilion.
Houston improves to 12-6, 3-3 in Conference USA, while the Herd falls to 8-10, 1-4 in league play.
The Cougars used their athletic ability and long arms to pressure the Thundering Herd into frenzied possessions that resulted in tough, one-and-done offensive opportunities. Meanwhile, Houston dribble-drived Marshall for lay-ups and kicked out to open shooters, who knocked down shots from three-point territory. The Cougars were 50% from the floor for the game, and were 58.3% from the field in the second half. From beyond-the-arc, Houston shot 35.3% for the game and 42.9% in the second half.
Despite the high percentage, Houston did not pull away from the Herd until the second half. Marshall led for the first 12:41 of the contest, and the Herd was holding its own withstanding Houston's ball-hawking, man-to-man defense, and the Cougars' athletic guard play. However, with 7:19 to go in the first half, Anderson scored on a jumper to give Houston an 18-17 lead, and the Cougars built a 28-23 lead heading into halftime.
The Herd battled back early in the second half, outscoring the Cougars 7-1 to take a brief, 30-29, lead on a Chris Ross (San Antonio, Texas) lay-up with 16:12 to go. Houston responded with a 13-3 run that gave the Cougars a cushion they would use the rest of the way.
"That was an athletic, physically strong team we played tonight," said Marshall head coach Ron Jirsa. "They got stronger as the game went along.
"They play a scrambling type of defense, and we weren't able to convert on some point blank opportunities."
The Herd was outrebounded by Houston, 23-7, in the second half, limiting the Herd to only one shot on a number of occasions. Marshall only had three offensive rebounds in the second half.
Joe Miles (Forestville, Md.) was the Herd's only double-digit scorer with 14 points. Mark Dorris (Cincinnati, Ohio) led Marshall on the glass with five rebounds.
Besides Anderson, Houston's other double-digit scorer was Ramon Dyer, who added 12 points. He also added 12 rebounds to lead all players.
Marshall returns to action on Wednesday night when the Herd takes on East Carolina. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.