June 27, 2012
As the 2011-2012 Marshall athletics season comes to a close, HerdZone.com is taking a look back at some of the top moments of the past year. Several exciting moments took place for Marshall during the most recent season, and we did our best to select the top 10 noteworthy moments.
No. 10 MomentNo. 9 MomentNo. 8 MomentNo. 7 MomentNo. 6 MomentNo. 5 MomentNo. 4 Moment
Here is an overview of the No. 3 moment of 2011-12 for Marshall Athletics:
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Men’s basketball’s run in the Conference USA Championships comes in at number three. Marshall became the first-ever six seed to make the title game and had to win three games in three days to do so.
After defeating No. 11 seed SMU 74-56, the Thundering Herd faced No. 3 seed Tulsa in a game that became the highlight of the tournament. DeAndre Kane’s first half was no indication of what his final point total would be. The sophomore guard only had eight points on just 4-of-10 shooting from the field. That would only serve as a warm-up period as Kane scored 18 points in the second half and 14 in the three overtime periods to finish with a tournament record 40 points as Marshall won the game 105-100. The game was a back-and-forth affair with 21 ties and 19 lead changes.
Marshall’s quarterfinal win was even more impressive when considering point guard and second leading scorer Damier Pitts fouled out with less than three minutes remaining in regulation.
Several records and milestones occurred during the Tulsa game. Kane surpassed 1,000 career points to become Marshall’s 49th 1,000-point scorer. His 40 points were the second-most ever at FedExForum by a collegiate player. Kane was 15-for-32 from the field, a tournament record for field goals made. Shaquille Johnson tied the C-USA Championships record for most free throws made as he was 14-for-18 and scored a career-high 25 points.
The triple-overtime game was enough to for Marshall to make its mark on March Madness, but the fun didn’t stop there. The Herd played less than 24 hours later against Southern Miss and beat the No. 2 seed 73-62 to advance to its first-ever C-USA Championship game and first conference title game since 1997.
Marshall played top seed and host Memphis in the finals. However, the Herd could not overcome the obstacles of playing four games in four days and competing in front of a raucous Tiger crowd.
Marshall’s late season run sparked talk of a possible NCAA Tournament bid, but was selected for the National Invitation Tournament instead. It was the program’s first NIT appearance since 1987.