Feb. 8, 2011
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - The Marshall University men's basketball team returns home following a two-game road swing to face UAB on Wednesday evening at 7 p.m. at the Cam Henderson Center.
A late comeback Saturday at Southern Miss fell short as the Herd fell to the Golden Eagles by a margin of 67-60. Marshall found itself down by as many as 16 points in the second half before mounting a furious comeback.
Marshall was down just three in the final minute. Following a pair of missed USM free throws, the Herd was unable to grab the rebound. The Golden Eagles capitalized with an and-one and were able to hang on for the victory.
Redshirt freshman DeAndre Kane picked up his fourth Conference USA Freshman of the Week award this week. It marked his second-straight honor. Kane led the Herd in scoring in both games last week, registering 24 points at Houston before tallying 20 against Southern Miss.
Junior Johnny Thomas saw his first action against the Golden Eagles since leaving the West Virginia game with an injury. Thomas made an immediate impact, helping the Herd make a comeback against the Golden Eagles while holding the leading scorer in the league, Gary Flowers, in check. Flowers hit four of his first five field goals to begin the contest, but went 3-17 the rest of the way, thanks in large part to Thomas' defense against him.
The Blazers come to Huntington with a 16-6 mark and a 6-3 record in Conference USA games. The Blazers are 3-1 over their last four games, taking down Tulane by a margin of 47-39 on Saturday. Prior to a home loss to Southern Miss, the Blazers won games on the road at UCF and home against the Herd. They are 3-1 in league road games this season.
Jamarr Sanders is the Blazers' top scorer, pouring in an average of 17.9 points per contest, the 66th best total in the country. Cameron Moore averages 15.5 PPG and was the Blazers top scorer in their last outing at Tulane, scoring 14 points along with pulling in a game-high 16 boards. Point guard Aaron Johnson averages 11.5 PPG and is No. 3 in the nation with 7.4 assists per game.
UAB currently holds a 9-5 edge in the series over Marshall. The teams have met at least twice each season since both were in C-USA and met in the conference tournament in 2007. UAB has won four of the last five meetings with the Herd taking a win in Birmingham last season. The Herd is 2-4 against the Blazers in games played in Huntington.
Following Wednesday's game, the Herd returns to the road to face East Carolina. The Herd and Pirates will square off on Saturday at 5 p.m. The game has been picked up by WSAZ and will be televised live.