Men's Basketball to Face `Operation Sellout' Saturday Night
Marshall to take on Louisiana Tech on CBS Sports Network
Jan. 24, 2014
GAME 21: MARSHALL (7-13, 1-4 C-USA) at LOUISIANA TECH (16-4, 4-1 C-USA)
Saturday, Jan. 25 – 8 p.m. ET
TV: CBS Sports Network
Ruston, La. | Thomas Assembly Center (8,000)
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RUSTON, La. – Coming off of its first Conference USA and road win of the season, the Marshall men’s basketball team is set to take on a Louisiana Tech squad that will be infused with energy from its near-capacity crowd as a part of its ‘Operation Sellout’ promotion on Saturday at 8 p.m. ET with the game to be aired live on CBS Sports Network.
HAVE YOU HERD?
Through stingy defense and efficient shooting from the field and the charity stripe, the Thundering Herd was able to collect its first road win of the season and the first since Feb. 23, 2013 at UCF with a 73-63 victory over Rice at Tudor Fieldhouse on Thursday night.
At the half, the Herd led 33-22 as Marshall led numerous categories at the break, including bench points (14-2), second chance points (5-0) and points off turnovers (6-0). Down the stretch, both sides exchanged buckets with Rice looking for a run to make a game of it late, but Marshall would not allow it.
The knockout blow was delivered by freshman guard Kareem Canty (Harlem, N.Y.) as he grabbed a defensive rebound and was fouled, sending him to the line. After sinking both free-throws, the scoreboard read 66-53 with 56 seconds on the clock. As the clock ran out, Canty had scored eight of the Herd’s last 11.
SHAKING IT UP
Against Rice, coach Tom Herrion went with a different starting lineup for the second-straight game, this time having consisted of Shawn Smith (Sacramento, Calif.), DeVince Boykins (Forest City, N.C.), TyQuane Goard (Charleston, W.V.), Ryan Taylor (Indianapolis) and Tamron Manning (Georgetown, Ky.).
POINTS OF EMPHASIS
Marshall has yet to win a game this season in which it failed to reach the 70-point plateau. The Herd is 3-10 when scoring 79 or less points and 4-3 when scoring above 80. Having a 7-5 record when keeping opponents below 79 points of offense, Marshall is 0-8 when allowing the opposition to score more than 80 points.
ON THE LINE
Free throws have been a point of emphasis for the Herd this season as Marshall is 5-2 when converting more attempts from the charity stripe than opponents and 2-10 when making fewer free throws than the opposition. The Herd is shooting 61.4 percent from the line this season (350-of-570). Marshall’s 220 missed free throw attempts rank first in NCAA Division I men’s basketball.
SPREADING THE WEALTH
With numerous scoring threats in the Marshall lineup, four members of the Herd are averaging double figures in scoring, three of which have become a mainstay in the Herd’s starting lineup: Canty with 16.8, Taylor with 13.8 and Thomas with 11.2. Smith is knocking on the double-digit doorstep as he is averaging 8.8 points in his sixth-man role.
The Herd has received scoring help from more than its top four scorers as Marshall has had three or more of its own score in double figures in 15 of 20 games this season. Unfortunately, it has not always been enough as the Herd is 5-10 this season when three or more of its own score in double figures and 2-3 when two or less reach 10 points.
A HELPING HAND
The benefit of having a true point guard has helped the Herd greatly this year and Canty has been the primary reason for that. An average of 6.6 assists per game has the freshman ranking eighth in the country, while he is the second-best assist man in C-USA. Canty has recorded three double-doubles on the season, all coming from a combination of points and assists.
Canty has led or tied for the lead in assists for the Herd in all 20 games this season.
SCOUTING THE BULLDOGS
Sitting in a tie atop the C-USA standings, LA Tech has won eight of its last nine games and posted an 8-1 mark on its home floor this season. The Bulldogs enter the contest with multiple threats against the Herd, starting with its scoring and defense as it has led to a scoring margin of +18.6 through 20 games.
A matchup to watch between the two sides will come in the backcourt as Canty will go up against junior guard Kenneth “Speedy” Smith, who is averaging 6.6 assists per game, a number that is identical to that of the Herd guard’s helpers.
Saturday’s meeting will mark the third all-time between the two programs and the first since the two sides became C-USA members. LA Tech has won each of the first two meetings, with one being in Ruston and the other in Huntington. The two contests came in consecutive seasons (1984-85 and 1985-86).
The Herd will return home for two games in three days to continue C-USA play against FIU (Jan. 30) and Florida Atlantic (Feb. 1).