March 4, 2008
NEW ORLEANS - The Marshall University men's basketball team hopes to emerge from a jumbled pack in the Conference USA standings when it visits Tulane on Wednesday. Tip-off from Fogelman Arena is at 8 p.m. ET.
The Thundering Herd (15-12, 7-7 C-USA) is in a four-way tie for fifth place in C-USA, even with UTEP, Tulsa and Southern Miss with two games remaining. Tulane (15-13, 5-9) has dropped seven straight, including a 14-point loss at Marshall on Feb. 16, and is in ninth place.
Marshall can win two in a row versus Tulane for the first time in what will be the sixth all-time meeting between the Herd and Green Wave. Marshall is 1-1 at Fogelman Arena, winning by six points last season. In 2006, however, the Herd managed just 31 points in a 25-point Tulane win in New Orleans.
After a week layoff, Marshall dropped an 89-64 decision at Tulsa on Saturday. The Golden Hurricane recorded 48 points in the first half (tie Louisville for most in a half versus MU this season) en route to opponent season-highs for points (89) and field goal percentage (62.5%).
Herd guard Mark Dorris scores a team-high 13.7 points per game. The senior moved into the top-10 in career steals at Marshall, recording his 119th career steal with his three-steal effort at Tulsa. Junior Markel Humphrey posted 16 points on Saturday to lead MU, the first time he has paced the Herd in scoring since Jan. 12 versus No. 2 Memphis.
Forward David Gomez continues to lead Tulane in scoring, and ranking eighth in C-USA, with 14.3 ppg. Gomez is also ranked eighth in field goal percentage, sinking 53.1 percent of his shots. The senior's 5.7 rebounds per game are also a team-high.
Tulane holds its opponents to 40.2 percent shooting, the 33rd best clip in the nation. The Green Wave also block 5.6 shots per game, 15th most in the NCAA. Gomez averages 1.6 blocks per contest.
Dorris recorded the C-USA single-game high for steals last season with his career-best six swipes against Tulane. He averages 2.8 steals in five career games versus Tulane and 9.2 ppg. His 3-point shooting against the Wave, however, stands at just 15.4 percent (2-for-13). Humphrey averages 11.6 ppg and 6.2 rpg in five career outings against TU.
In this season's first matchup with the Wave, Marshall had four players with double-digit points, led by sophomore Tyler Wilkerson's
15 points. The forward added 10 rebounds for his third career double-double and first at the Cam Henderson Center. Wilkerson's 10 free throw attempts against Tulane are also a career-high.
Senior guard Taurean Marshall re-injured his right knee in the second half at Tulsa. Racing to defend the 3-point line, Marshall suffered the injury and did not return. He had played in six games since returning from his initial ACL injury, suffered on Jan. 5 vs Winthrop. Marshall played double-digit minutes at Tulsa and vs UCF, scoring six points in both games, prior to this latest setback. His status for the remainder of the season is uncertain.
With a win, the Herd would secure its first winning season since 2000-01 (18-9) and win eight C-USA games for the first time ever.
Wednesday's 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).