Jan. 28, 2011
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - The Thundering Herd men's basketball team returns home on Saturday evening to face off against the Memphis Tigers at 7 p.m. inside the Cam Henderson Center.
Memphis and Marshall meet for the second time this season on Saturday. This season marks the first time that the two schools will play each other twice in the regular season. In the 2006-07 season, the squads met once in the regular season before squaring off in the C-USA Tournament.
In this season's first matchup in Memphis, the Tigers came away with a 77-61 win. With the game tied at 15-15 in the first half, Memphis embarked on a 20-0 run, before finishing with the 16-point victory. DeAndre Kane was the leading scorer for Marshall with 16 points. Tirrell Baines notched 15 along with a team-high nine rebounds.
Last time out, Marshall fell to 13-7 and 1-4 in league play after falling by a 60-56 margin on Wednesday evening at UAB. It marked the second-straight loss for the Herd and also the second game in a row where MU has given up a double-digit second-half lead.
Dago Pena led Marshall with 14 points while Nigel Spikes fell just short of the second double-double of his career, recording 9 points and 12 boards. Pena has been one of the top three-ponit shooters in the league, knocking down at least one trey in 17 out of 18 games this season. Over the last two games, Pena has been especially accurate over the last two games, hitting 9-of-12 attempts. For the season, the junior is shooting 45.2% beyond the arc, third in Conference USA.
Memphis comes to Huntington with a 16-4 record and a 5-1 league mark, tied for first place. Memphis averaged 78.0 points per game, second in the league and 27th in the nation. Since a loss at SMU on January 12, Memphis has reeled off four wins in a row, including a 77-61 triumph over UCF on Wednesday. The Tigers also grabbed wins over UAB, Southern Miss and Marshall over that span.
Will Barton continues to lead the Tigers in scoring, averaging 12.9 PPG. He led the way on Wednesday against the Knights, scoring a game-high 17 points. Will Coleman was the top scorer in the first meeting this season at FedEx Forum, tallying 19 points and 11 boards. In the win over UCF, Coleman recorded ten points.
Memphis leads the all-time series over the Herd by an 8-1 margin. Marshall won the first meeting in Huntington in 1952 while Memphis has won the last eight games, including all seven meetings while both have been members of Conference USA.
Saturday's game is set for 7 p.m. Tickets are still available by logging on to www.HerdZone.com. Tickets can be ordered online and picked up at the ticket office on the day of the game. Fans can also purchase tickets at the Cam Henderson Center Ticket Office beginning at 4 p.m. on Saturday.