March 6, 2010
DALLAS, Texas--Marshall University (23-8, 11-5 C-USA) clinched the fourth seed and a first round by at next week's GMC Sierra Conference USA Men's Basketball Tournament with a 73-57 victory over SMU (14-16, 7-9 C-USA) Mar. 6 in Moody Coliseum. The Herd will await the winner of the game between the fifth seed Tulsa and the 12th seed Rice and play the contest Mar. 11 at 7:30 p.m. (EST) in the BOK Center in Tulsa, Okla.
Tyler Wilkerson inched closer to the 1,000 career point plateau as he scored a game high 22 points. Wilkerson scored 11 straight points in the first half for Marshall. The 6-8 forward recorded his 18th career double-double as he added 10 rebounds. Wilkerson is third among active Conference USA players in the category. Hassan Whitside posted 17 points and 10 rebounds for his 14th double-double of the year. Whiteside raised his C-USA and Marshall season blocks record to 168. Whiteside is fifth among active C-USA players in double-doubles.
The Thundering Herd shot 50% for the game (24-of-48) and made 21-of-27 free throw attempts (77.8%), including 19-of-25 in the second half. The Herd committed only 10 fouls in the game, four in the second half.
"This was a big time win for us," said Marshall head coach Donnie Jones. "We wanted to keep SMU under 40% shooting for the game and under 30% from three-point range for the game and we were able to accomplish both of those goals. We earned the bye and we now need to sharpen our focus and get ready for post-season."