Defense Prevails, Herd Wins 82-63


Damier Pitts scored a season-hgh 25 points on Sunday.

Damier Pitts scored a season-hgh 25 points on Sunday.

Dec. 11, 2011

Final Stats |  Notes |  Photo Gallery 

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Senior guard Damier Pitts recorded a season-high 25 points to lead Marshall to an 82-63 win over offensive power Iona Sunday at the Cam Henderson Center.

The Thundering Herd improved to 6-2 on the season while the Gaels fell to 7-2.

"We beat an outstanding club," said Marshall head coach Tom Herrion. "I thought after the first 10 minutes, we settled into the game. We recognized how fast they were, but it took us almost 10 minutes to settle into their speed. They play at a break-neck speed."

Iona entered the contest averaging 90.5 points per game, the top offensive output in the country. However, Marshall's defense slowed down the Gaels' attack holding them to 27.5 points below their season average and a season-low 63 points.

"They are everything everyone said they were and more," Herrion said of Iona. "We were fortunate to beat them. Our defense was much better in the second half and rebounding, I thought, was a big factor in the game."

Both teams shot well from the field as Marshall shot a season-best 50 percent and Iona shot 53.2 percent. The Herd once again put forth an outstanding rebounding effort as it held a 39-18 edge on the glass. Marshall used 19 offensive rebounds to score 25 second-chance points.

Pitts scored 25 points on a career-high nine made field goals (9-17). He was also 4-for-7 from three-point range and dished out five assists.

Sophomore guard DeAndre Kane finished 7-for-12 from the field to scored 19 points to go with five assists and five steals.

Freshman guard Justin Coleman made the most of his first-career start with a personal best 11 points on 5-of-8 shooting.

Marshall's largest deficit of the game was eight, 30-22 with 7:34 remaining in the half. A Nigel Spikes layup capped an 18-10 run by the Herd and held its first lead of the contest, 40-38 with 59 seconds left in the half. Marshall led 42-38 at halftime.

The second half was all Marshall as the Herd outscored the Gaels 40-23 and ended the game with its largest lead (19).

Iona, which entered the contest leading the nation in assists (21.1), recorded just 14 to go with 14 turnovers. Marshall had 13 assists and tied a season-low with 11 turnovers.

The Gaels were led by Mike Glover's 20 points on 9-of-10 shooting and six rebounds.

The Herd's Dennis Tinnon failed to get a double-double for a fourth-straight game, but did have a game-high 11 rebounds to go with four points.

Marshall will next host high Point on Saturday at 7 p.m.