@HerdMBB to Begin Busy Weekend at Vanderbilt

Looking to make his fourth-straight start, Chris Thomas will be vital for the Herd on the road

Dec. 4, 2013

GAME 8:  MARSHALL (4-3, 0-0 C-USA) at VANDERBILT (4-3, 0-0 SEC)
Thursday, Dec. 5 – 8 p.m. ET
Nashville, Tenn. | Memorial Gym
Live Stats | Live Video | Live RadioTwitter

Game Notes

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Having dropped the first game of a four-game stint away from home, the Marshall men’s basketball team will have a chance to get a valuable win as the Thundering Herd will take on Vanderbilt in Memorial Gym, Thursday, Dec. 5, at 8 p.m. ET.

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

Looking for its first road win of the season in its second try, the Marshall men's basketball team's comeback bid fell short with an 88-78 loss to ETSU Saturday at Freedom Hall Civic Center.

Marshall was led by Kareem Canty's (Harlem, N.Y.) 19 points, followed by 17 from Chris Thomas (Denver), Elijah Pittman's (Covington, Ky.) 16, Shawn Smith's (Sacramento) 11 and Ryan Taylor's (Indianapolis) 10. Taylor also racked up 14 rebounds for the double-double as the Herd outrebounded ETSU, 40-37. Canty added six assists as well.

ETSU made 53.6 percent from the field (30-of-56), while the Herd shot 42.9 percent (27-of-63). Neither team shot particularly well from long-range, as ETSU made just 7-of-23 attempts (30.4 percent), while Marshall connected on 6-of-30 (20 percent). ETSU made 70.0 percent on its trips to the free throw line (21-of-30), while the Herd made good on 18-of-35 attempts (51.4 percent).

Coming off a week that included overcoming a 16-point deficit to defeat two-time defending Sun Belt Champion Western Kentucky (Nov. 26), redshirt freshman guard Kareem Canty (Harlem, N.Y.) has been named Conference USA Freshman of the Week, the league office announced Monday afternoon.

This marks the first weekly honor in Canty’s career and the 11th Freshman of the Week honor in program history. The last player for the Thundering Herd to receive the honor was DeAndre Kane, who did so for the week of Feb. 7, 2011.

Over the two-game week, Canty averaged 17.0 points and 4.5 assists in 33.5 minutes. Against WKU, Canty ranked second on the team in scoring with 15, before scoring 19 and recording six assists in a losing effort to ETSU (Nov. 30).

Ranking sixth in the nation in assists per game (7.3) and ninth in the country in total steals (51), Canty has helped the Herd greatly from the point position.

Canty and Pittman were both named to the College Hoops Daily All-Conference USA team for the month of November at their respective positions, with Pittman taking home C-USA Player of the Month.

In its seventh consecutive year, ESPN's Jimmy V Week for Cancer Research began Tuesday, Dec. 3, across all domestic ESPN platforms. For the first time, the initiative will expand to two weeks to continue driving awareness of and donations to The V Foundation for Cancer Research. Last year, Jimmy V Week raised nearly $1.6 million, bringing the six-year total of contributions to more than $6.5 million.

"It's been 20 years since Jim Valvano's courageous words inspired us all to work tirelessly in the fight against this terrible disease," said John Skipper, President, ESPN. "Over those two decades, we've seen enormous strides in cancer research and treatment options - progress that comes as a direct result of Jim's vision."

Vanderbilt’s streaks of winning and losing has mirrored that of Marshall as both teams began the season with two two-game winning streaks separated by a two-game losing streak, followed by a loss. Both sides enter the contest with identical 4-3 records. As part of the Big 12/SEC Challenge, the Commodores most recently fell at Texas (Dec. 2).

Redshirt sophomore guard Eric McClellan leads Vanderbilt in scoring with 17. 6 points per game in seven starts. Leading the way on the boards is senior forward Rod Odom with 5.0 per game, in addition to his 13.3 points per game.

The Commodores are coming off a 2012-13 campaign that was below average as the squad finished with a 16-17 record, 8-10 in Southeastern Conference play.

Thursday will mark the first meeting between Marshall and Vanderbilt.

Marshall will continue its four-game span away from the Cam Henderson Center with a nationally-televised tilt against Penn State, Saturday, Dec. 7, at 4 p.m. on ESPN3.