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ORLANDO, Fla. - A season-high 54.2 percent shooting from the field propelled the Marshall men's basketball team to its first road win, an 82-70 victory at UCF on Wednesday.
"I'm really proud of our kids," said head coach Tom Herrion. "They've been tremendous through our inconsistent struggles at times this year. They deserved that win."
Junior Elijah Pittman led the Thundering Herd (12-15, 5-7 Conference USA) with 20 points on 7-of-11 shooting including 3-of-5 from three-point range.
Juniors D.D. Scarver and DeAndre Kane joined Pittman in double-figures. Scarver had 16 points, three rebounds, two assists, two blocks and two steals while Kane had 19 points, a game-high seven assists, five rebounds and three steals.
Dennis Tinnon recorded his eighth double-double of the season with 14 points, on 6-of-10 shooting, and 15 rebounds. He helped the Herd outrebound the Knights (17-9, 7-5 C-USA) 42-32. Both teams pounded the ball down low with 64.4 percent of the scoring being done in the paint, 50 by UCF and 48 by Marshall.
Marshall trailed 10-8 at the 15:38 mark, but after that, never trailed again as the Herd went on an 11-2 run to take a 19-12 lead. The Knights cut the lead to four points on two separate occasions in the first half, but the Herd gradually separated itself from the home team to lead 48-34.
"Offensively the ball moved so well and obviously we made some shots early," Herrion said. "We got anything we wanted really. Our execution was tremendous."
It was the most points Marshall has scored in a half all season thanks to 60.0 percent (21-of-35) shooting from the field.
Marshall's lead swelled to 22 points, 71-49 after a three-pointer from Tamron Manning, with 9:17 to play. The Knights went on a 14-2 run to cut it to eight points with just over four minutes remaining. However, the Herd made seven of its last 10 free throw attempts to win its first road game of the season and win the final game against the Knights as members of Conference USA. UCF is leaving the conference and will be a member of the Big EAST Conference beginning next season.
"We guarded the three really well and rebounding, minus our really bad free throw block-outs in the second half, I thought we did a really good job on the glass."
UCF was led by Isaiah Sykes who finished with 23 points, 11 rebounds and five assists before fouling out late in the game.
Marshall will next be in action on Saturday when it hosts UAB at 7 p.m.
Marshall leads the all-time series 10-6
The 48 points in the first half was its most in a half since scoring 48 in the second half against Middle Tennessee State in the first round of last season's NIT on March 13, 2012
It is the most at halftime since Dec. 21, 2011 when it led WVU Tech 48-28
Marshall's 83 points scored was its most in a C-USA road game since an 83-65 win at East Carolina on Jan. 9, 2010
Tinnon has recorded consecutive double-doubles for the first time this season. He did it four times last season
The win breaks a nine game home winning streak for the Knights at UCF Arena against C-USA opponents.