Marshall Holds Off Southern Miss, 62-57

Feb. 25, 2006

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HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Marshall senior center Mark Patton (Barboursville, W.Va.) and sophomore guard Mark Dorris (Cincinnati, Ohio) each scored 14 points to lead the Herd to a 62-57 win over Southern Miss Saturday evening at the Henderson Center.

Patton, who also added six rebounds for Marshall, scored his 1,000th point at the 16:22 mark in the first half, making him the 43rd player in Herd basketball history to accomplish the feat. He is also only the 13th Marshall player to score 1,000 points and have 600 rebounds.

The Herd needed all of Patton's points to come away with the win Saturday against the Golden Eagles. Hot-shooting Southern Miss held the lead for the first 23:25 of the contest and held a 12-point lead midway through the first half. As a team, the Golden Eagles shot 54.5% in the first half, and held a 31-27 lead at the break.

"We knew they were a physical team," said Patton of the Golden Eagles. "They aren't the biggest guys, but they play physical to make up for it.

"It was one of those halves - they were just hitting the shots. We were able to come back and execute in the second to get the win."

Marshall turned the tide in the second half, starting the period on an 8-2 run that was capped off by a Travis Aikens (Orlando, Fla.) three-pointer to give the Herd its first lead of the game, 35-33. Two minutes later, MU started a 6-0 run to widen its lead to seven, 44-37, with 11:03 to go. Southern Miss never got closer than three points the rest of the way.



Marshall hung on with clutch free throw shooting down the stretch - for the game, the Herd was 17-for-21 from the charity stripe for an 81% clip, the best percentage since Marshall shot 88.9 percent (8-of-9) on January 21st against UTEP.

For the game, Southern Miss shot 44.9% for the game, compared to 41.3% for the Herd. It marked only the second time all season Marshall has won a game shooting a worst field-goal percentage that its opponent. The only other Herd win was against Evansville in the Henderson Center on November 26th. The Golden Eagles also outrebounded Marshall, 30-29, on the night.

"I'm glad we were able to figure it out tonight," said Marshall head coach Ron Jirsa. "Every game is important. Southern Miss has been in almost every game, and they did a good job shutting down (Mark) Patton. But, we were able to get it going in the second (half).

"I thought Mark (Dorris) settled in the second half. He hit his open shots and played pretty solid defense. It's been a long week of shooting and he was able to put them down tonight."

"They were doubling on Mark [Patton]," said Mark Dorris. "It allowed us wing players to get open and hit our shots."

Patton and Dorris were the only two double-digit scorers for Marshall. Patton and freshman Markel Humphrey (Ellenwood, Ga.) tied for the team lead in rebounds with six apiece.

Southern Miss had three double-figure scorers, Jason Forte, David Cornwell, and Courtney Beasley, all with 12 points.

Marshall will play its final home game of the regular season Wednesday night when UCF comes to town. Tip-off with the Golden Knights is set for 7 p.m.