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Hot Shooting Leads Herd Over Knights

Nigel Spikes with one of his career-high nine blocked shots.

Feb. 2, 2013

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HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Marshall shot a season-high 51.9 percent and blocked 14 shots as the Thundering Herd snapped a three-game losing skid to defeat UCF 75-71 Saturday at the Cam Henderson Center.

Marshall (10-12, 3-4 Conference USA) cooled off a hot UCF (15-6, 5-2 C-USA) club which had won nine of its last 11 games.

"I'm proud of my group," said head coach Tom Herrion. "They did a great job of finding a way to win the game this afternoon. "

The 14 blocked shots are tied for second-most in school history. Senior and Florida native Nigel Spikes had nine blocks, which rank tied for fourth in Marshall's single-game records. Other Herd block artists in the game were Yous Mbao, who made the most of his four minutes of play, with three and Elijah Pittman and Dennis Tinnon with one each.

Spikes did some work on the offensive end of the floor as well with 11 points on 3-of-5 shooting from the field. He was also 5-of-6 from the free throw line where Marshall was 16-of-25 (64.0 percent).

Pittman led the Herd in scoring with 20 points on 7-of-12 shooting from the field including 3-of-6 from three-point range. Fellow junior college transfer D.D. Scarver put up 16 points on 5-of-10 shooting from the field.

UCF made two of its first 17 field goal attempts as Marshall built a five-point lead, 22-17 with 8:29 to play in the half. A 10-2 run by the Knights gave UCF a 27-24 lead with 5:56 remaining in the first. Marshall held UCF to 36.1 shooting from the field in the first half and trailed 33-32 at the break.

In a game that saw 16 lead changes, 11 came in the second half which was a back-and-forth affair. A free throw from UCF's Keith Clanton tied the game at 60-60 with four minutes to play, but Marshall went on a 14-6 scoring run over the next 3:43 to take a 74-66 lead with 17 seconds left which all but sealed the deal.

Along with its season-high shooting percentage, Marshall was 5-of-18 from three-point range while holding UCF to 41.3 percent from the field and 6-of-19 (31.6 percent) from beyond the arc.

"Shooting 52 percent for us was really good," Herrion said. "I think it was 17 assists on 27 made baskets, so our ball movement was good. We made some big plays down the stretch which you have to do against a good team in a great game, and that's obviously a rivalry-type of game with a really nice atmosphere. A good bounce back for our kids, and I'm proud of them."

Twelve of Marshall's 17 assists came from junior guard DeAndre Kane who also put up six points and four rebounds.

UCF was led by C-USA Preseason Player of the Year Keith Clanton who scored 24 points and pulled down nine rebounds, both game-highs. Calvin Newell scored 19 points.

Marshall will next be in action on Wednesday for an 8 p.m. game at Tulane.