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Herd Faces Owls for #AutismHoops, Saturday

The front of the shirts the Herd will warm up in Saturday

Jan. 31, 2014

GAME 23: FLORIDA ATLANTIC (7-14, 2-4 C-USA) at MARSHALL (8-14, 2-5 C-USA)
Thursday, Feb. 1 – 12 p.m. ET
Television: Comcast Sports Southeast
Huntington, W.Va. | Cam Henderson (9,043)
Live Stats | Live RadioTwitter

Game Notes

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – After having opened a two-game homestand with a double-digit victory for its second in three games, the Marshall men’s basketball team will look to continue the trend when it takes on Florida Atlantic on Saturday at noon. The contest is set to be televised on Comcast Sports Southeast and will tip-off Autism Awareness Day.

General admission tickets are $10 and may be purchased by going to or by calling 800-THE-HERD. The game can be viewed and heard online via Herd All-Access by going to A Herd All-Access subscription for the season is $9.95 per month or $79.95 for one year.

In-game Twitter updates @HerdMBB, results and a recap from the night’s action will be available at

On Thursday night, the Thundering Herd downed FIU, 80-68, on its home floor to collect its first home league win of the season. Marshall continued its recent free throw-stripe improvement with its best night of the season at the line (16-of-19). The Herd also committed a season-low nine fouls and matched its season low of nine turnovers.

The Herd (8-14, 2-5) shot 50.9 percent for a second straight game. Freshman guard Kareem Canty (Harlem, N.Y.) finished with his fourth double-double of the season, but he had none of his 16 points in the first half – and the redshirt freshman guard didn’t force things on a 10-assist night. He was 5-of-12 from the floor with only two turnovers in 38 minutes.



Marshall coach Tom Herrion has partnered with Towson coach Pat Skerry in a fight against autism as the consition afflicts each of their sons, Robert Herrion and Owen Skerry. Saturday, Feb. 1 will be recognized nationwide as Autism Awareness Day.

Autism is the result of a neurological disorder and impacts the development of the brain in the areas of social interaction and communication skills. The condition, according to Autism Speaks Inc., is caused by a combination of genetic and environmental influences and can occur with no family history.

Herrion and Skerry purchased 200 of the light blue, puzzle-piece lapel pins - promoting autism awareness - from Autism Speaks. They contacted coaches, who networked with other coaches, targeting primarily the 40-plus college basketball telecast games scheduled Saturday.

The Herd is 7-4 this season in the friendly confines of Cam Henderson Center and 45-15 at home under coach Tom Herrion. With added support from its kelly green-clad fans, Marshall is 357-114 at the Henderson Center over 33 seasons, a .760 winning percentage.

Coach Herrion once again adjusted the starting lineup, making it the fifth lineup in as many games for the Herd. This time consisting of Canty, Shawn Smith (Sacramento, Calif.), Chris Thomas (Denver), TyQuane Goard (Charleston, W.Va.), and Ryan Taylor (Indianapolis).

Over the past nine weeks, Marshall has snagged five C-USA Freshman of the Week honors between a pair of Herd first years. Taylor is the most recent as his 17.5 ppg and 9.5 rpg showing over the past week earned him the award, Jan. 27. After having earned it on Jan. 6 as well, he has now won the award in two of the last four weeks.

Canty is responsible for three of the awards, with them all having come in consecutive weeks (Dec. 2, 9 and 16). Only one other player in the league has received the honor on three occasions this season, Jonathan Stark of Tulane.

Marshall has yet to win a game this season in which it failed to reach the 70-point plateau. The Herd is 3-11 when scoring 79 or less points and 5-3 when scoring above 80. Having a 8-5 record when keeping opponents below 79 points of offense, Marshall is 0-9 when allowing the opposition to score more than 80 points.

Free throws have been a point of emphasis for the Herd this season as Marshall is 6-2 when converting more attempts from the charity stripe than opponents and 2-11 when making fewer free throws than the opposition. The Herd is shooting 62.6 percent from the line this season (383-of-612). Marshall’s 229 missed free throw attempts rank first in NCAA Division I men’s basketball.

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 16.7, Taylor with 14.0 and Thomas with 11.6. Smith is knocking on the double-digit doorstep as he is averaging 8.5 points in his emerging 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 17 of 22 games this season. Unfortunately, it has not always been enough as the Herd is 6-11 this season when three or more of its own score in double figures and 2-3 when two or less reach 10 points.

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 tied for eighth in the country, while he is the second-best assist man in C-USA. Canty has recorded four 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 22 games this season.

Coming to Huntington for the final game of a three-game road stint, Florida Atlantic lost the first two games, to FIU (Jan. 25) and Charlotte (Jan. 30). 11 of the Owls’ 21 games this season have come on the road while Florida Atlantic has posted a 1-10 record in those 11.

Senior guard Pablo Bertone leads his side in scoring with 18.2 points per game and is the only member of the Florida Atlantic squad to have started all 21 games this season. Junior center Justin Raffington leads on the glass with 9.1 rebounds per game for the Owls.

Saturday will mark the first all-time meeting between the programs.

The Herd will start a three-game road swing with a nationally-televised game on CBS Sports Network at Southern Miss, Friday at 9:30 p.m. ET.