Marshall's Inside Presence Leads to 67-49 Win


Junior Robert Goff scored 13 points for the Herd.

Junior Robert Goff scored 13 points for the Herd.

Nov. 11, 2011

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HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Junior forwards Robert Goff and Dennis Tinnon led a dominant inside scoring attack to power the Marshall men's basketball team in a 67-49 win over Alabama State Friday at the Cam Henderson Center.

The season opener for both teams, the Thundering Herd improved to 1-0 while the Hornets fell to 0-1 in front of an announced attendance of 6,009.

Both junior college transfers, Goff and Tinnon excelled in their first NCAA game. Tinnon recorded a double-double with 10 points and 14 rebounds, nine offensive. Goff scored 13 points and grabbed seven rebounds.

The Thundering Herd dominated the post, outscoring the Hornets 40-14 in the paint and outrebounding them 40-27.

Sophomore guard DeAndre Kane matched Goff with 13 points to go along with five assists and three steals.

Alabama State got out to an 11-7 lead early on in the game. After that, Marshall held the Hornets scoreless for nearly eight minutes and scored 17 unanswered points to build a 24-11 lead. The Herd was 12-for-30 from the field in the first half including 0-for-7 from three-point range, but still held a 34-24 halftime lead.

The Hornets scored the first four points of the second half to cut the Herd lead to six, 34-28. That was as close as ASU got as Marshall slowly built its lead throughout the period. Marshall's Damier Pitts drained a three-pointer in the final minute to give the Herd their largest lead of the game, 67-47.

Pitts' trey was one of three in the game as the Herd finished 3-of-17 from three-point range. ASU shot 30-percent (6-for-20) from beyond-the-arc, but Marshall's defense held the Hornets to 37-percent (17-for-46) from the field. The Herd shot 43.6 percent (24-for-55) from the field.

"I thought we wore them down and our pressure bothered them," said Marshall head coach Tom Herrion. "They scored early in our zone then we switched to our man pressure which was more effective. I was disappointed how we finished the first half and I don't think we came out with the venom that we had. I thought our defense was good and there are still things we need to work on."

Marshall's defense converted 22 ASU turnovers into 30 Herd points.

Freshman guard Justin Coleman came off the bench to score eight points on 3-of-5 shooting and added three rebounds. Senior guard Dago Pena also scored eight and led the Herd with two three-pointers.

Ivory White and Kender Washington each scored 11 points to lead Alabama State, who qualified for the NCAA Tournament a season ago.

Marshall will host its second of three consecutive home games on Sunday at 4 p.m. against Jacksonville State.