Marshall Back Home to Host UAB
Men's basketball returns home after three games away
Feb. 20, 2014
Blazers Beat Herd 52-48
Despite a valiant second half comeback, the Marshall men's basketball team fell to UAB 52-48 Saturday night in front of a season-high 6,614 at the Cam Henderson Center.
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – With its last three contests having all been played on the road and decided by a total of nine points, the Marshall men’s basketball team is ready to retake its home floor for a two-game home stand, starting with UAB on Thursday, Feb. 20 at 7 p.m. inside the Cam Henderson Center.
General admission tickets are $10 and may be purchased by going to HerdZone.com or by calling 800-THE-HERD. The game can be viewed and heard online via Herd All-Access by going to HerdZone.com. A Herd All-Access subscription for the season is $9.95 per month or $79.95 for one year.
HAVE YOU HERD?
After falling behind by 11 points early on, the Thundering Herd kept fighting to battle back and collect a 59-56 victory over Charlotte in Conference USA play on Saturday night at Halton Arena.
With the clock winding down at the end of the first half, sophomore guard Chris Thomas (Denver) snatched an offensive rebound and banked a layup off the glass to put his side up 36-34 right before the buzzer sounded. The bucket capped a 17-2 run that spanned 7:12 and closed the half for the Herd.
After a Marshall turnover, Charlotte found itself with a chance to tie the game, down three. After an initial miss, the 49ers grabbed the offensive rebound to set up another chance at extending the game, but could not connect as the Herd reeled in the miss and ran out the clock to win 59-56.
SHAKING IT UP
Coach Tom Herrion went with the starting five of Shawn Smith (Sacramento), Kareem Canty (Harlem, N.Y.), Cheikh Sane (Dakar, Senegal), Ryan Taylor (Indianapolis) and Thomas for the third straight game.
Over the past 12 weeks, Marshall has snagged five C-USA Freshman of the Week honors between a pair of Herd first years. Canty is responsible for three of the awards, with them all having come in consecutive weeks (Dec. 2, 9 and 16), while Taylor has collected the other two (Jan. 6 and 27).
The young Thundering Herd has struggled in close games this season as Marshall has posted a 3-12 mark in games decided by 10 or fewer points. The Herd is 1-5 in games decided by five or fewer points this season.
Marshall’s three-point win at Charlotte on Feb. 15 was the first time during the 2013-14 season that Herrion’s club has won a game that has been decided by five or fewer points.
NOT SO FORTUNATE
College basketball insider Ken Pomeroy has a ranking called “luck” that essentially takes into account statistics and compares that to a team’s record and losing a lot of close games will affect a team’s ranking in this category. Out of 351 NCAA Division I men’s teams, Pomeroy ranks Marshall 348th in the luck category, inversely making them the fourth unluckiest team in the nation. The Herd has lost five games by one possession this season and an additional two in overtime.
Before the Herd’s three-point road win at Charlotte this past weekend, Pomeroy had Marshall as the second unluckiest team in Division I.
POINTS OF EMPHASIS
Marshall has yet to win a game this season in which it failed to reach the 70-point plateau. The Herd is 4-14 when scoring 79 or less points and 5-3 when scoring above 80. Having a 9-8 record when keeping opponents below 79 points of offense, Marshall is 0-9 when allowing the opposition to score more than 80 points.
ON THE LINE
Free throws have been a point of emphasis for the Herd this season as Marshall is 7-3 when converting more attempts from the charity stripe than opponents and 2-13 when making fewer free throws than the opposition. The Herd is shooting 62.3 percent from the line this season (430-of-690). Marshall’s 260 missed free throw attempts rank first in NCAA Division I men’s basketball.
SPREADING THE WEALTH
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 16.2, Taylor with 13.5 and Thomas with 12.3.
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 19 of 26 games this season. Unfortunately, it has not always been enough as the Herd is 6-13 this season when three or more of its own score in double figures and 3-4 when two or fewer reach 10 points.
The Herd is currently 2-12 away from home this season and is 4-26 away from Huntington since the start of the 2012-13 season.
A HELPING HAND
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 5.9 assists per game has the freshman ranked tied for 19th in the country, while he is the third-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 23 of the season’s 26 games.
SCOUTING THE BLAZERS
When UAB travels to Huntington, it will be heading into a contest that both teams want to win badly as the Blazers and Herd have sub-.500 records in Conference USA play to this point. For the Birmingham-based program, the season has had its highs and lows with its high having been a 63-59 home victory over the then-No. 16 North Carolina Tar Heels.
As junior guard Chad Frazier goes, so does UAB, with the Charlotte native averaging a team-high 18.3 points per game and 4.4 assists per game. Frazier has also caused trouble for the Blazers as his 99 turnovers this season ranks tied for third most in NCAA Division I basketball, with the category topped by Marshall’s Canty, with 101 on the year.
UAB leads the all-time series 13-6 and has posted a 7-2 mark against the Herd in Huntington. Marshall has lost its last three meetings with the Blazers and has not defeated UAB since Jan. 11, 2012 in Birmingham, 61-59.
Marshall will close its home stint by welcoming Conference USA leader, Middle Tennessee, on Saturday at 2 p.m. The contest will be televised on Comcast Sports Southeast.