Nov. 23, 2013
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HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Before a crowd of 4,718, the Marshall men's basketball team defeated UNC Wilmington, 96-78, snapping a two-game losing streak, Saturday afternoon, at Cam Henderson Center.
The win improved the Thundering Herd to 3-2 overall and 3-1 at home, while the Seahawks fell to 3-4 on the season.
Making his first career start, sophomore guard Chris Thomas (Denver) filled the place of sophomore guard DeVince Boykins (Forest City, N.C.). Thomas scored the first points of the game on a jumper with 19:22 remaining in the first half. Marshall would not surrender its lead after taking the early 2-0 advantage.
Senior forward Elijah Pittman (Covington, Ky.) started off hot from the field as he has 12 of Marshall's 22 points on 4-of-4 shooting from beyond the arc. The Herd led, 22-16, with under 12 minutes until the half.
Proving deserving of a starting spot, Thomas stepped up big to extend the Marshall lead late in the first half as he scored four straight points to put the Herd up by 13, 40-27, with 2:46 remaining until the break.
The crowd was awakened with 1:07 remaining in the first half as Pittman threw a no-look pass off the backboard to freshman Ryan Taylor (Indianapolis), who finished the play with a powerhouse slam.
Marshall closed the half on an 18-2 run that lasted 4:47, starting with the Herd's advantage at just three and the score at 30-27. The Herd took a 48-29 lead into halftime that came courtesy of 60 percent shooting (18-of-30) from Marshall in the first half.
In the second half, UNCW would battle to come within 11 as 15:39 remained in the contest and the score at 54-43. Having blown leads in each of its last two games, Marshall was prepared and remained composed to ensure the Seahawks got no closer to the Herd.
Marshall's largest lead came later when Pittman drained a three from Thomas to make it 70-49 with 11:08 remaining in the contest.
The knockout blow was dealt by freshman Kareem Canty (Harlem, N.Y.) with 1:12 to play on a drive and right-hand layup, making it 90-73.
As the clock ran out, Marshall got back on track with a 96-78 win over the Seahawks in game two for the Herd in the Roundball Showcase. Pittman finished with 35 points to lead all players in scoring, while Thomas finished with 15 in his first career start. Canty (19 points and 10 assists) and Taylor (11 points and 10 rebounds) each finished with double-doubles.
Pittman's 35 points set a career high, while his eight three-point field goals also set a career high for the senior swingman.
The Herd will conclude its three-game home stand against Western Kentucky, Tuesday, Nov. 26, at 7 p.m.
In-game Twitter updates @HerdMBB, results and a recap from the night's action will be available at HerdZone.com.