Marshall to Host East Carolina, Sunday Afternoon
Men's basketball to take on outgoing Conference USA member
March 1, 2014
Herd Ends Regular Season with 86-79 Loss
Senior forward Robert Goff led all scorers with a career-high 27 points, but the Marshall men's basketball team lost 86-79 to East Carolina Saturday night in front of 5,377 at Minges Coliseum.
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Back home for the final two games of the regular season, the Marshall men’s basketball team will start its stay by taking on East Carolina for the final time with the both sides as Conference USA members on Sunday, Mar. 2 at 2 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?
In its final regular season road game of its 2013-14 regular season campaign, the Thundering Herd came up short as a result of a lack-luster shooting performance against Conference USA newcomer Old Dominion by a score of 70-63 on Thursday night at Ted Constant Convocation Center.
At the break, the visiting Herd held serve, 27-25, despite having shot 10-of-26 from the field (38.5 percent). Marshall found great success in clogging the passing lanes with high hands on defense, which led to six Monarch turnovers in the first 20 minutes and four steals by the Herd defense.
In the waning moments, Marshall cut the deficit to five with the score at 64-59 and 34.0 seconds remaining on a triple from Canty, but not enough time remained for the Herd to successfully complete a comeback as the clock ran out and the Monarchs collected a 70-63 victory.
Marshall’s last game without a 3-point field goal was played Feb. 27, 1989, a 97-96 Herd win over Appalachian State at the Henderson Center, 739 games ago. It was the last regular-season game of 1988-89. The current streak of 3-point games began March 3, 1989, in the Southern Conference Tournament quarterfinals – an 83-69 Herd victory at the Asheville (N.C.) Civic Center.
The Herd’s Kareem Canty (Harlem, N.Y.) and Ryan Taylor (Indianapolis) are both in the top 15 of C-USA scorers and are one of two freshman duos ranked in the top 15 in scoring in a league. The other is Kentucky as Julius Randle and James Young rank in the top 15 in Southeastern Conference scoring.
Over the past 13 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 Herd is currently 2-13 away from home this season and is 4-27 away from Huntington since the start of the 2012-13 season.
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 349th in the luck category, inversely making them the third 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 on Saturday, Feb. 15, Pomeroy had Marshall as the second unluckiest team in Division I.
The young Thundering Herd has struggled in close games this season as Marshall has posted a 3-15 mark in games decided by 10 or fewer points. The Herd is 1-6 in games decided by five or fewer points this season.
Marshall’s three-point win at Charlotte on Feb. 15 was the first and only time during the 2013-14 season that Marshall coach Tom Herrion’s club has won a game that has been decided by five or fewer points.
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 4-17 when scoring 79 or less points and 5-3 when scoring above 80. Having a 9-11 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 7-5 when converting more attempts from the charity stripe than opponents and 2-14 when making fewer free throws than the opposition. The Herd is shooting 62.2 percent from the line this season (467-of-747). Marshall’s 280 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 16.4, Taylor with 13.3 and Thomas with 12.4.
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 20 of 29 games this season. Unfortunately, it has not always been enough as the Herd is 6-14 this season when three or more of its own score in double figures and 3-6 when two or fewer reach 10 points.
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 5.7 assists per game has the freshman ranked 26th 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 26 of the season’s 29 games.
SCOUTING THE PIRATES
After starting the conference season with nine losses in 11 games, East Carolina has since won its last three league contests to catapult themselves into the hunt for a first-round bye in the 2014 C-USA Championships with two games remaining. With all three of the wins having come at home, the Pirates will take its streak on the road, where it has posted a 3-7 mark this season.
Led by senior guard Akeem Richmond, ECU has rode the three-point specialist in his final year with the Pirates. Richmond has been good for a team-leading 18.4 points per game and 4.59 three-point field goals per game, which leads C-USA. Caleb White’s 12.4 ppg and Paris Campbell’s 12.2 ppg round out the ECU double-figure scorers.
Marshall leads the all-time series, 13-7, and boasts a 9-1 record against the Pirates in Huntington. While ECU has won two out of the last three meetings, the Herd has won eight out of the last 11. The two sides last met in Greenville on Mar. 9, 2013 with the Pirates having won, 86-79.
The 2013-14 regular season will conclude on Senior Day for Marshall against Charlotte on Thursday, Mar. 6 at 7 p.m. in the Cam Henderson Center.