Feb. 8, 2010
HUNTINGTON, W.Va.--Marshall University (16-7) hosts Rio Grande (5-19) Feb. 9 in the Cam Henderson Center. Marshall is playing Rio Grande for the 14th time with the Herd holding a 13-0 all-time series advantage. MU defeated the Red Storm 92-59 last season in Huntington. This game will count towards the Marshall overall record while it will serve as an exhibition game for Rio Grande.
The Red Storm are 5-19 in their first year as a members of the NAIA Division I Mid-South Conference. Senior guard P.J. Rase is Rio's leading scorer. Rase is shooting 45.4% (79-of-174) from three-point range compared to his 42.3% (126-of-298) overall shooting. Rase is 81-of-86 from the free throw line (94.2%) this season. Forward Bud Teer is averaging 12.9 points and a team leading 9.5 rebounds per game while Doug Campbell is scoring at a 11.9 ppg clip.
Marshall exploded for 67 points in the second half and received 15-or-more points from four players to defeat East Carolina, 100-49, in Conference USA action Feb. 6 in the Cam Henderson Center.
Tirrell Baines (Jr., Laurens, S.C.) scored a season-high 18 points (14 in the second half) on 7-of-10 shooting from the floor to help MU (16-7, 5-4 C-USA) snap a five-game losing streak. Tyler Wilkerson (Sr., Lexington, Ky.) connected on eight baskets en route to a 17-point effort along with grabbing five rebounds.
Hassan Whiteside (Fr., Gastonia, N.C.), who was held to one point in the first half, tallied a total of 15 along with six boards and four blocked shots. Chris Lutz (R-Sr., Bedford, N.H.) poured in 13-of-15 points in the last stanza, including four 3-pointers after intermission.
Trailing 8-7 in the early minutes of the game, the Thundering Herd mounted an 11-0 run, capped off by a dunk from Wilkerson and layup from Shaquille Johnson (So., Jacksonville, Fla.) to hold an 18-8 cushion at the 7:54 mark. The suffocating defense of Marshall held the ECU shooters to just 23.5 percent (4-for-17) from the field in the opening half. The Pirates did not make a basket for nearly 14 minutes, until Erin Straughn drained a 3-pointer as time expired in the first stanza.
Lutz opened the second half by sinking a pair of 3-pointers around a bucket from Wilkerson to force the Pirates into a timeout with 18:26 left. Following the stoppage of play, Whiteside went on an offensive tear, scoring nine-straight points to help expand the Herd, 50-30.
After a pair of ECU made free throws by Young, MU went on a 22-4 explosion to help balloon the advantage to 73-36 at the 8:46 mark. The Herd would later use a 14-0 spurt, including a 3-pointer from the corner from Noah Fisher (Fr., Ripley, W.Va.) to put the game out of reach at 93-42 with 2:31 left in the contest. MU made 26-of-40 (65.0 percent) shots in the second half, including 7-of-10 from beyond the arc.
Marshall has tied or broke the Conference USA records for margin of victory this season. The Herd's 84-point (119-35) victory over Salem International Dec. 3 reset the league mark for a non-conference game. The old mark was 70 (112-42), set by Memphis against Howard Jan. 31, 2001. The Thundering Herd's 51-point victory (100-49) over East Carolina tied the C-USA record for largest margin of victory in a conference game. Louisville defeated the Pirates by 51 points during the 2004-05 season.
When Darryl Merthie sank a three-pointer in the first five minutes of Saturday's game, it marked the 600th consecutive game in which Marshall has converted a three-point field goal. The streak has spanned 22 seasons. The last time the Thundering Herd did not make a 3-pointer in a game was on Feb. 27, 1989, versus Appalachian State (MU def. ASU, 97-96).