Offense Dominates, Herd Wins 78-68

Freshman guard Chris Martin scored a career-high nine points Saturday.

Freshman guard Chris Martin scored a career-high nine points Saturday.

Feb. 11, 2012

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HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Damier Pitts scored a season-high 27 points to lead the Marshall men's basketball team to a 78-68 win over East Carolina on Saturday at the Cam Henderson Center.

Both teams shot the ball well as the Thundering Herd (15-10, 6-5 C-USA) shot a season-high 54.0 percent from the field while the Pirates (12-12, 3-8) shot 53.5 percent. There were 20 three-pointers made in the game as Marshall was 10-for-20 and ECU was 10-for-19.

"We played really well offensively tonight as they (ECU) did," said Marshall head coach Tom Herrion. "The two teams shot the ball really well. I don't know if it's good offense or some bad defense, or a combination of both."

The teams shot so well that Marshall didn't have a chance to record as many rebounds as it had in other games this season. The Herd brought down a season-low 25 rebounds, one more than ECU (24).

Pitts' 27 points was scored on 9-of-17 shooting from the field and 17 of his points came in the second half alone. He had four assists and just one turnover. As a team, Marshall had a season-low five turnovers and recorded 19 assists, its second most of the season.

Marshall was without its leading scorer DeAndre Kane, who attended his father's funeral on Saturday. When Pitts picked up two early fouls, Herrion sent Chris Martin into the game. The seldom used freshman guard made the most of his career-high 22 minutes of playing time with a personal best nine points on 3-of-6 shooting, all from three-point range.

"Chris came in and gave us a great jolt, a great spark," Herrion said. "He got the opportunity tonight. When opportunity comes, some people knock at the door and some people crash through the door. I thought Chris crashed through the door tonight."

Senior Shaquille Johnson scored 14 points on 4-of-6 shooting and a season-high six assists.

ECU's largest lead was 16-8 at the 13:57 mark of the first half. A three-pointer by Dago Pena towards the end of the half, gave Marshall a 36-35 halftime lead.

In the second half, Marshall trailed 52-51 with 10:17 remaining, but a 16-1 run gave the Herd a comfortable 67-53 lead with 6:02 to play.

"I thought our defense got better in the second half," Herrion said. "We got in transition and opened up the floor."

ECU was led by the conference's leading assist man in Miguel Paul. He scored 19 points and a game-high 11 assists. Robert Sampson also had a double-double for the Pirates as he finished with 19 points and 10 rebounds.

Marshall will have a week off from competition as its next game will be played on Saturday, Feb. 18 at SMU at 4 p.m.