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March 14, 2013
TULSA, Okla. - No. 8 seed Tulane banked in a three-pointer from the top of the key with 6.9 seconds left to spoil a game that No. 9 seed Marshall controlled, up 13 midway through the second half, in a season ending 66-64 loss in the first round of the Conference USA Championships Wednesday at the BOK Center in Tulsa, Okla.
A last-second three-point attempt from Elijah Pittman missed wide as the Thundering Herd ended the season with a 13-19 record.
"Obviously it was a frustrating end to a season," head coach Tom Herrion remarked after the game. "A dagger through our heart here at the end. Three-ball ended up killing us in the second half and we didn't guard it well enough. We did a great job in the first half, but not in the second and then they bank one in to win it."
The Green Wave improved to 19-14 and moved on to the second round to take on top-seeded Memphis at 7 p.m. ET Thursday on CBS Sports Network.
DeAndre Kane led Marshall with 22 points, going 7-of-10 from the field, 2-of-3 in three-pointers and making 6-of-9 free throws. Dennis Tinnon finished his collegiate career with one final double-double, giving him 22 in his two years. He totaled 16 points, going 8-of-9 from the field, and had 11 rebounds. Pittman was next with 12 points, while Nigel Spikes anchored the effort on the boards with nine rebounds and accounted for three of the game's four total blocks.
The Herd finished 24-of-51 from the field for a 47.1 percent mark, but struggled behind the three-point line, going 3-of-16 (18.8 %). Tulane on the other hand had eight made three-pointers, seven of which came in the second half.
Tulane's Ricky Tarrant combined for a team-leading 21 points, accounting for five of Tulane's eight three-pointers. Josh Davis finished with a double-double, earning 18 points and a team-high 12 rebounds. He went 8-for-13 from the free throw stripe.
Power in the post helped Marshall control the tempo of the game for a majority of the contest. The Herd recorded 40 of its 64 points in the paint, compared to Tulane's 24. The post performance allowed Marshall a 29-20 lead at halftime and showcased a 52.2 shooting percentage in the opening 20 minutes.
Marshall held that lead for close to 30 minutes of the game and went up by as much as 13 with 12:15 left, but an eight-point run with nine minutes left in the contest sparked the Tulane comeback that featured 30 points by the Green Wave in the last 10 minutes.
"They've got really great shooters," Herrion said on Tulane's offense in the second half. "I think we were surprised at times by how deep they were shooting it especially down the stretch. We had our hands down and we weren't playing aggressive enough contesting the shot."
Trading the lead back and forth eight times in the final seven minutes of the game, Tulane's Kendall Timmons finally heaved a shot from the top of the key and banked it in to put the Green Wave up 66-63 with 6.9 seconds left. Kane then drew a flagrant foul and made one of his two free throws. Given the ball back with one final opportunity, Kane drove the ball in and dished it to Pittman, but the three-point attempt glanced off the glass and fell short, giving the Herd the 66-64 loss in the final game of the season.
"I had an option to get the layup, but the defender caught me off a little bit on my way to the basket," Kane said. "I saw Elijah (Pittman) open and he's a great shooter, he's been knocking down shots all year, so I got him the ball. He got a good look at it, it just didn't sink."
All three games today were decided by five points or less. The last day that three consecutive C-USA Tournament games were decided by five points or less was March 8, 2000 at The Pyramid in Memphis (Houston 77, Marquette 75; Memphis 60, USF 58; Charlotte 76, UAB 73).
Tulane advances to face No. 1 seed Memphis at 6 pm CDT Thursday. The Tigers won the regular season meeting between the teams, 71-60 on January 22 in Memphis.
Memphis and Tulane will be meeting for the fifth time in the C-USA Championship. The Tigers have won all four previous meetings (2006, 07, 08, 09) all by double-digits.
Ricky Tarrant led all Tulane players with 21 points, including the game-winning three-pointer. He scored 16 of his points in the second half.
Tarrant scored 11 consecutive points for Tulane beginning at the 8:59 mark of the second half until the 6:39 mark and then Josh Davis scored seven in a row from 5:46 to the 3:54 mark. The duo combined for 18 points over a 5:05 stretch.
Josh Davis scored 18 points and pulled down 12 rebounds for his 18th double-double of the season.
After going 1-of-12 from three-point range in the first half, Tulane connected on 7-of-11 from behind the arc in the second half.
Marshall fell to 0-3 all-time vs. Tulane in the C-USA Championship. The three losses have come by a combined total of nine points.
Dennis Tinnon registered his 10th double-double of the season, scoring 16 points and grabbing 11 rebounds.
DeAndre Kane led all scorers with 22 points, his seventh game with 20 or more points this season.
Tulane Head Coach Ed Conroy
"Marshall had an excellent game plan. We knew how talented they were. We beat them at our place and won by a considerable margin, but we knew how talented they were. They had a great gameplan that kept us off balance. Our biggest difference makers were Josh Davis and Ricky Tarrant. They were able to help us change the course of the game. Even though Marshall scored a couple of times after the full court press and we missed a few shots, I think that our screens and our press allowed us to change the game."
On second half adjustments:
"Their energy was unbelievable, and it made it impossible for us to get off good shots. They forced us into some tough shots early. I knew our three point shooting was out of rhythm. We adjusted at halftime, and I think our team did a very good job of executing. We started making the extra pass so that the last guy could get his feet set. I think that their energy stayed the same. They played great throughout. We just executed at the end, and that last shot was very fortunate."
#2 Ricky Tarrant, Tulane
On the game winning shot:
"It felt good. It sailed straight to the backboard and then in. I was looking at the shot clock after Jordan(Callahan) passed me the ball and knew I had to get a shot off so I just threw it up. Obviously, it went in."
On Tulane's ability to shoot the 3-point shot in the second half:
"In the first half, we forced a lot of perimeter shots, so Marshall was ready when we looked for outside shots. Before the second half, coach told us that we needed to be smarter. When we are smarter, guys are able to set their feet more and get up good shots."
#00 Josh Davis, Tulane
On Tulane's second half success in the paint:
"Coming in to today, we knew that they had length and were a good shot blocking team. We just tried to focus on keeping the ball moving form side to side to spread the defense out. It gave us easier drives to the lane and easier dishes."
Marshall Head Coach Tom Herrion
"Obviously it was a frustrating end to a season. A dagger through our heart here at the end. Three-ball ended up killing us in the second half we didn't guard it well enough. We did a great in the first half, but not in the second and then they bank one in to win it. We didn't get enough quality stops down the stretch, even though we held them under 40-percent. But we didn't have those stops. I think offensively we were pretty good, we got the ball where we wanted to and we were pretty efficient. Though we didn't make many threes, I thought our ball movement was good. Just a bitter-sweet ending to a frustrating season to say the least."
On Tulane's performance in the second half:
"They've got really great shooters. I think we were surprised at times by how deep they were shooting it especially down the stretch. We had our hands down and we weren't playing aggressive enough contesting the shot. We were surprised by them shooting it, and how deep it was on a couple possessions."
On the energy of the defense:
"I think we were active and aggressive on both man and zone. We mixed the defenses well. I was scared of the three, to be honest with you, and it ended up catching up to us in the second half. The easy thing to say is to go back to the zone but when they start making threes, I'm just not comfortable going back to it. Give them credit they made big shots. They wanted to win it."
#50 DeAndre Kane, Marshall
On the last play of the game:
"I had an option to get the layup, but he caught me off a little bit on my way to the basket and I saw Elijah (Pittman) open and he's a great shooter, he's been knocking down shots all year, so I got him the ball. He got a good look at it, it just didn't sink."
#01 Dennis Tinnon, Marshall
On the success in the first half:
"Coach did a great job preparing us all week for this game. We were really focused and we just wanted to come in here and do our best and get the win, but it slipped out from under our feet and Tulane went away with the win."