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December 6, 2013

Comeback Falls Short for Men's Basketball at Vanderbilt

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - After falling behind by 13 points in the second half, the Marshall men's basketball team was unable to complete a comeback as the Thundering Herd fell, 69-67, to Vanderbilt on Thursday night at Memorial Gym.

Vanderbilt improves to 5-3 on the season, while Marshall drops to 4-4. The Herd has now lost two in a row, with both defeats having come on the road.

Freshman guard Kareem Canty (Harlem, N.Y.) finished with a team high 18 points on the evening on 7-of-17 shooting from the field and 3-of-5 from beyond the arc. The Herd forced 18 Vanderbilt turnovers and cashed them in for 29 points. Marshall finished the night shooting 40 percent on 24-of-60 shooting, while the Commodores shot 23-of-51 for 45.1 percent.

The Herd remained close despite poor shooting from the field to start the game. With 6:12 until the half, Marshall was 6-of-22 from the field for 27.3 percent, but trailed Vanderbilt just 20-14.

With an increased defensive intensity and an offensive rhythm, the Herd drew closer as the Commodores lead was trimmed to one with 3:46 remaining in the first.

Vanderbilt would extend its lead before the half concluded as a 13-5 run gave the Commodores a 35-26 edge after the first 20 minutes of play. Vanderbilt's nine-point lead at the half marked its largest lead of the game.

At the break, sophomore forward TyQuane Goard (Roxboro, N.C.) led the Herd in scoring with seven points in his first career start. Marshall shot 33.3 percent in the first half on 10-of-30 shooting, while Vanderbilt shot 44.4 percent on 12-of-27 from the field.

The Commodores continued to protect their home court in the second half as Vanderbilt took a 47-34 lead with 14:41 remaining in the contest for its largest lead.

With 7:59 to play, Marshall drew within six as the score read 58-52 after junior forward Shawn Smith (Sacramento, Calif.) converted a pair of free throws.

The Herd remained resilient as Canty banked in a three point bucket to come back within one as 6:17 remained in the game.

Forced into a timeout, Vanderbilt found itself clinging to a 66-65 lead with 1:17 to play.

With 9.3 seconds left in regulation, Marshall had the ball out of a called timeout, trailing 69-67 with a chance to win or extend the game. Canty took an inbounds pass and drove the lane looking for a game-tying basket, but the Vanderbilt defense clamped down and did not allow the Herd to get a shot attempt up before the buzzer sounded.

With Thursday's matchup having served as the first meeting between the two sides, Vanderbilt now leads the series 1-0.

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

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

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