GAME NOTES: The Marshall Thundering Herd look to win their fifth straight game over the Tulane Green Wave when the two schools meet for a mid-week Conference USA bout at Devlin Fieldhouse.
Marshall has won its last four games against the Green Wave to build an 8-5 all-time series lead. Tulane is 0-2 in its history against MU's current head coach Tom Herrion, after falling to the Herd, 63-44, last season in Huntington.
Marshall begins its two-game road swing on the heels of a 75-71 victory over UCF. The victory snapped a three-game slide and improved the Herd to a 10-12 overall record including its 3-4 C-USA standing. Herrion's team has been very streaky this season, but has shown improvement since First-Team All-C-USA selection DeAndre Kane has fully returned from a shooting hand injury. Kane is second on the team in scoring with 14.4 ppg and sixth in the nation in assists with 7.2 per contest. Elijah Pittman is pacing the team in the scoring column with 14.8 ppg, on 49.1 percent shooting from the field.
Pittman supplied 20 points for Marshall in its close win over UCF on Saturday by going 7-of-12 from the floor. Dennis Tinnon chipped in 13 points and five rebounds, Nigel Spikes tallied 11 points and nine blocked shots, and Kane dealt out 12 assists. D.D. Scarver, who scores 13.8 ppg, added 16 points for MU. Although the Herd lost the rebounding battle, 41-29, they shot 51.9 percent from the field in the contest. On the season, MU is being outscored by an average of 2.5 ppg, although its scoring margin is highly affected by its 102-46 loss to Southern Miss.
After experiencing only three setbacks during its non-conference slate, Tulane has gone only 2-5 in C-USA action so far. The Green Wave lost their second in a row on Saturday when they were handed a 62-50 loss at Texas-El Paso. Josh Davis was limited to eight points and two boards in the setback. Still, Davis has had an impressive campaign overall and leads the Green Wave with 17.1 points per game, the second-most in C-USA. His 9.9 rebounds per game paces the conference. His solid forward play is meshing nicely with 2011-12 C-USA Freshman of the Year Ricky Tarrant's perimeter game which yields 14.8 ppg.
Tarrant also had an off-night at UTEP, scoring just two points, as Tulane shot a collective 19-of-47 (40.4 percent) from the floor. None of the Green Wave players managed to reach double-figures as they found themselves down by as many as 23 before cutting the deficit to 12 points just before the conclusion of the contest. Tulane has been outscored by its C-USA opposition by an average of 5.1 ppg, which equals the Herd's scoring margin in league action.
Tulane is a solid defensive team, but it will be in trouble if Davis and Tarrant continue to be contained. Marshall has yet to win a true road game this season, but it has plenty of confidence coming into this one after defeating its ex-coach and his Knights over the weekend.
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