Herd Men Look to Avenge Loss at UCF, Host the Knights on Saturday

Feb. 22, 2008

Marshall Game Notes: vs UCF Get Acrobat Reader

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - The Marshall men's basketball team will try to rebound from seeing its three-game win streak snapped on Wednesday versus UTEP when the Knights of UCF visit the Cam Henderson Center on Saturday. Tip-off is at 2 p.m. ET with a women's game to follow versus UAB at 5 p.m.

UCF (14-11, 7-4 Conference USA) dealt the Thundering Herd (14-11, 6-6) a 77-63 loss in Orlando, Fla., on Feb. 6. Knights junior Jermaine Taylor dropped a career-high 34 points on Marshall, out-dueling Tyler Wilkerson's 17-point, 13-rebound effort for the Herd.

After dropping the first two games of a series that began when the two schools became C-USA foes in 2005-06, UCF has won three straight meetings with Marshall to claim a 3-2 series lead. The Knights downed the Herd in Huntington last season 78-71.

UCF is alone in fourth place in the C-USA standings while Marshall is in a tie for seventh place.

Marshall's Mark Dorris, who scored 15 points on the strength of a career-best five 3-pointers versus UTEP on Wednesday, paces the Herd in scoring with 13.6 ppg. Freshman forward Tirrell Baines, a 51.8 percent shooter, is pulling down a team-high 6.1 rebounds per game.

MU forward Tyler Wilkerson continues to sizzle offensively. The sophomore reached double-digits in scoring in eight of the last 10 contests, including a career-high 25 pts vs East Carolina on Feb. 9, for 13.1 ppg and a team-best 57.8 FG pct. (48-for-83) in that span.

UCF, winners of two straight and three of its last four, is scoring 79 points per game in C-USA play, tying Memphis atop the scoring offense category. The Knights are out-scoring their league opponents by 6.7 ppg (3rd in C-USA).

Jermaine Taylor's 24.1 ppg in league play ranks No. 1 in the conference. Taylor averages 15.2 ppg in five career games versus Marshall.

The Knights, like Marshall, have three players averaging at least 11 ppg in Taylor and senior guards Dave Noel (12.8 ppg) and Mike O'Donnell (11.5). Another senior, guard Chip Cartwright, paces UCF in assists (3.7/game).

Guard/forward Markel Humphrey's single-game high for points remains his 25-point outing at UCF on Jan. 13, 2007. In five career games vs UCF, Humphrey averaged 12.8 ppg and 5.8 rpg, both team-highs.

Marshall has been dominant on the boards the last five games, pulling down an average of 38.4 rebounds per game and scoring a +12.0 rebound margin in that span. Seventy-seven of the Herd's 192 rebounds (40 percent) in the last five contests have been offensive as MU posted a 98-34 advantage in second-chance points.

A Marshall win guarantees the Herd's first non-losing season since 2001-02 (15-15) and will match its seven C-USA wins a year ago, its most ever.

The game will be video streamed live on Herd All-Access, via HerdZone.com. The contest can also be heard on the Thundering Herd/ISP Sports Network with Steve Cotton (PxP) and Woody Woodrum (color).