Feb. 18, 2011
NEW ORLEANS, La. - The Marshall University men's basketball team returns to the road on Saturday, traveling to face Tulane on Saturday evening at 8 p.m. ET at Fogelman Arena.
Marshall made it two wins in a row on Wednesday, pulling away for a 72-61 win over Rice. The defining moment came with eight minutes remaining. With the score tied at 45, Rice missed a dunk that would have put them on top. Marshall converted the miss and went on to outscore the Owls by a 27-16 margin over the remainder of the game.
In the game against Rice, Marshall connected on 23 out of 24 free throws, good for a 95.8%. That marked the third best outing in program history. The Herd hit a perfect 31-31 against Davidson in 1979 and was 24-of-25 in a game against Tennessee State in 2008. Shaquille Johnson led the way with a perfect 8-8 performance.
Johnny Thomas recorded his ninth double-digit scoring game with 13 points against Rice. It marked his ninth double figure game of the season and first since scoring 20 in the home win over Southern Miss. Thomas' scoring has had a direct impact on Marshall's success. In games where he has reached double digits, the Herd is 8-1.
The Green Wave enter Saturday's matchup with a 12-13 record, and have lost their last ten games, all Conference USA contests after starting league play by winning their first two games. Their latest defeat came at the hands of UCF as the Knights grabbed a 65-62 win in New Orleans on Wednesday evening.
They are led by Kendall Timmons, who has averaged 16.5 points per game. That is the sixth best scoring average in C-USA. He was held in check by the Knights, scoring eight points. Jordan Callahan averages 13.9 PPG. He was the leading scorer for Tulane last time out, scoring 19.
Marshall and Tulane met twice last season with the Herd taking both meetings. In a January 16 matchup in Huntington, the Herd took an 89-79 victory, led by a 20-point, 12-rebound performance from Hassan Whiteside. Tyler Wilkerson lifted MU to a 58-55 win in New Orleans on February 20, scoring 18 points while grabbing nine boards.
The Herd owns a slight 6-5 edge in its series against the Green Wave. All 11 games have been played since both teams have been in Conference USA. Marshall is 3-2 in games played in New Orleans and has won the last two contests, including a 58-55 road win last season.
Next week, the Herd will play two games at home, beginning on Wednesday at 7 p.m. against Tulsa before wrapping up against SMU on Saturday at 7 p.m. The Tulsa game will be nationally televised by CBS College Sports.