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Marshall to Close Homestand vs. Western Kentucky

Chris Thomas provided a spark to the Herd in his first career start vs. UNC Wilmington, Saturday afternoon

Nov. 25, 2013

GAME 6:  WESTERN KENTUCKY (3-1, 0-0 Sun Belt) at MARSHALL (3-2, 0-0 C-USA)
Tuesday, Nov. 26 – 7 p.m.
Huntington, W.Va. | Cam Henderson Center
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Game Notes

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – After bouncing back from a two-game skid with a win at home, the Thundering Herd will look to build on its victory when Marshall takes on Western Kentucky, Tuesday, Nov. 26, at 7 p.m. in Cam Henderson Center.

General admission tickets are $10 and may be purchased by going to or by calling 800-THE-HERD. The game can be viewed and heard online via Herd All-Access by going to A Herd All-Access subscription for the season is $9.95 per month or $79.95 for one year.

In-game Twitter updates @HerdMBB, results and a recap from the night’s action will be available at

Before a crowd of 4,718, the Marshall men’s basketball team defeated UNC Wilmington, 96-78, snapping a two-game losing streak, Saturday afternoon, at Cam Henderson Center.

Making his first career start, sophomore guard Chris Thomas (Denver) filled the place of sophomore guard DeVince Boykins (Forest City, N.C.). Thomas scored the first points of the game on a jumper with 19:22 remaining in the first half. Marshall would not surrender its lead after taking the early 2-0 advantage.

As the clock ran out, Marshall got back on track with a 96-78 win over the Seahawks in game two for the Herd in the Roundball Showcase. Senior Elijah Pittman (Covington, Ky.) finished with 35 points to lead all players in scoring, while Thomas finished with 15 in his first career start. Freshman guard Kareem Canty (Harlem, N.Y) and freshman forward Ryan Taylor (Indianapolis) each finished with double-doubles. Canty recorded 19 points, 10 assists and Taylor added 11 points, 10 rebounds.

Pittman’s 35 points set a career high, while his eight three-point field goals also set a career high for the senior swingman.

Halfway through the Roundball Showcase, which is a round-robin event run by bd Global, LLC, Marshall is participating along with Campbellsville, East Tennessee State, Samford, Stephen F. Austin, UNC Wilmington and Western Kentucky. The Herd has already faced Stephen F. Austin and UNC Wilmington in the showcase and will close with Western Kentucky (Nov. 26) and ETSU (Nov. 30).

Marshall coach Tom Herrion mixed up his starting lineup a bit vs. UNC Wilmington (Nov. 23) by replacing Thomas with Boykins and it paid dividends for the Herd as Thomas provided a spark to the Marshall offense with 15 points on 7-of-11 shooting in 20 minutes.

After setting a career high 35 points against UNC Wilmington, Pittman leads the Herd with 29.4 points per game. Pittman ranks fifth in the nation in scoring and first in Conference USA.

Through his first four collegiate games, Canty has collected 42 assists to lead the Herd. Averaging 8.4 assists per game, Canty ranks second in the nation and first in C-USA in assists per game. Canty has recorded two double-doubles in his first five collegiate appearances, against Rio Grande (Nov. 12) and UNC Wilmington (Nov. 23).

Set to become a C-USA member in 2014, Western Kentucky has posted a 3-1 mark thus far with the lone loss coming at No. 16 Wichita State (Nov. 12). Most recently the Hilltoppers have defeated ETSU (Nov. 21) and UNC Wilmington (Nov. 21), with the Herd set to face ETSU its next time out.

Able to lockdown opposing defenses, Western Kentucky has held nine-straight opponents to under 70 points. The Hilltoppers are 10-3 in their last 13 games.

Selected to win the Sun Belt conference in the 2013-14 Preseason Coaches’ Poll, Western Kentucky has made two straight NCAA Tournament appearances by winning the Sun Belt Conference Championship to secure the automatic bid (2012 and 2013).

The Hilltoppers lead the series with the Herd, 11-4, with Western Kentucky winning the last two meetings. With the series skipping decades, the last Marshall win came Dec. 29, 1961, 89-84, in Huntington.

Marshall will conclude its participation in the Roundball Showcase with a road contest vs. ETSU, Saturday, Nov. 30, at 4 p.m.