Marshall Stifles East Carolina 77-56

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HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - A game high 22 points by junior guard DeAndre Kane paced the Marshall men's basketball team to a 77-56 win over East Carolina on Saturday at the Cam Henderson Center.
The Thundering Herd never trailed in the contest and improved to 9-9 on the season and 2-1 in Conference USA. The Pirates fell to 11-6 overall and 2-2 in C-USA.
In front of the largest crowd of the season (6,056), Marshall extended its all-time series lead against ECU to 13-6, including 9-1 in Huntington.
"It was a terrific win against a really good club that came in here playing as well as any team in our conference," said Marshall head coach Tom Herrion on the victory. "We defended. Our defense was outstanding for the majority of the game."
Dunks by Nigel Spikes and Elijah Pittman gave Marshall its first two baskets of the game and set the pace for a victory in which the Herd would lead by as many as 25 in the first half. Marshall held ECU, which entered the game averaging a conference-best 78.8 points per game, without a basket for the first 6:49 as Marshall jetted out to a 12-0 lead. The Pirates made just two of its first 21 field goal attempts as the Herd's lead swelled to 27-4 with 7:57 to play in the half.
DeVince Boykins' three-pointer with 4:08 remaining extended the lead for Marshall to 38-13.
Through the first 20 minutes, Marshall turned the ball over only three times, shot 50 percent from the field, and led 43-23. The Herd dominated inside, outscoring the Pirates 33-12 in the paint and 17-4 off turnovers in the first half.
"We wanted to attack inside," said Herrion. "Just because it says points in the paint doesn't mean you have to jam it in, jam it in. We played on the bounce in the paint. We posted up some different guys in the paint. We executed really well in our sets."
The Pirates scored the first six points of the second half to cut their deficit to 43-29, but the 14-point margin was as close as they would get. Marshall responded with the next 11 points of the game to take a 54-29 lead with 15:14 remaining.
Marshall assisted 19 of 30 made baskets in the victory while forcing East Carolina to turn the ball over 18 times. The Herd scored 24 points off ECU turnovers.
Kane added eight assists and three steals to his game high 22 points. Pittman's four steals and Spikes' four blocks were both team highs.
Marshall scored 52 points in the paint - including five dunks - and saw its largest lead come via a pair of free throws by Kane with 8:18 left in the game.
ECU was led by Robert Sampson who finished with 10 points and 17 rebounds. Senior point guard Miguel Paul was held to 4-of-14 shooting, but was 8-of-9 from the free throw line for a team-high 17 points.
"We played a lot like we practiced all week and that's a credit to our kids and my staff," said Herrion. "This is something we have to build on. Now we have to bottle it up and take it on the road."
The Herd will be on the road for its next two games, the first of which will take place Wednesday, Jan. 23 at Southern Miss. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. ET in Hattiesburg, Miss.
Marshall (9-9, 2-1 C-USA) 77 - East Carolina (11-6, 2-2 C-USA) 56
Cam Henderson Center - 6,056 (largest of the season)
Marshall Starters (Career/Season): Dennis Tinnon (52/17), Nigel Spikes (51/18), D.D. Scarver (18/18), Elijah Pittman (16/16), DeAndre Kane (79/12)
Series History: Marshall leads 13-6 and 9-1 in Huntington.
Marshall's Win…
Improves the Thundering Herd to 8-1 inside the Henderson Center this season.
Makes head coach Tom Herrion 132-73 all-time and 52-44 during his three seasons at MU.
Improves Marshall to 1,392-1,014-2 all-time.
Moves Marshall's all-time Henderson Center record to 346-107 and 38-19 in C-USA home games.
Makes the Herd 14-4 in conference home games under coach Herrion.
Team Notes
A three pointer by DeAndre Kane early in the first half extended the Herd's streak of games with a made three pointer to 696.
The Herd built a 12-0 lead before the Pirates could score to start the game. MU would end up putting together an 18-2 run in the first 6:12 of the contest and a 27-4 run over the first 12 minutes of the game's opening half.
The combined halftime margin in the past two home games of 43 (23 vs. Tulsa & 20 vs. East Carolina) is the best total in consecutive home games since a combined 48 in games against Troy on Dec. 12, 2009 and Brescia on Dec. 16, 2009.
The Herd's 20 point halftime lead is the second largest lead it has had in a C-USA game in the history of its time in the conference.
For the first time this season MU was victorious when it lost the rebounding battle (47-42). It was 0-6 previously.
Marshall scored a season-high 52 points in the paint. 52 are the most since 56 against Tulsa in the last season's three overtime game at the C-USA tournament March 8, 2012. The last time MU scored more than 52 paints in the point against a Division I team was against ECU Feb. 6, 2010 when it tossed in 54.
Individual Notes
D.D. Scarver has made a three point basket in all 17 games of his MU career.
Scarver finished the contest with 11 points, giving him his 15th career game with double-digit points.
Dennis Tinnon put together his fifth double-double of the season and the Herd's 10th with 11 points and 12 rebounds. The senior forward has 17 career double-doubles to his name.
Tinnon's now has 28 career games with 10 or more rebounds. He has eight such games this season, including four of his past five games.
He also now has scored in double-digits in 28 career games and in 11 this season.
Nigel Spikes pulled down 11 rebounds, his 14th career game with 10 or more rebounds and sixth time this season.
DeAndre Kane put in a game-high 22 points which bumped him into a tie for 24th overall in career points. He now has 1,277 and is tied with Travis Young (1997-01).
With his 22 points, Kane has 68 career games with 10 or more points, including 10 this season and 18 career games with more than 20 in a game.
Kane also added in eight assists, his 13th game this season with five or more assists, but first since 13 against Nevada, Nov. 24, 2012.
The junior guard made five free throws to move to 21st all-time in free throws made with 292 career makes.
Kane picked up three assists, which moves into the top 20 all-time in career assists at Marshall. He has 105 in his three year stint, which ties him with Derrick Wright and George Washington.
Elijah Pittman scored 19 points, for his 14th career game with 10 or more points. Pittman has scored in double-digits in 10 of his last 11 games.
Marshall Head Coach Tom Herrion
Opening Statements:
It was a terrific win against a really good club that came in here playing as well as any team in our conference. We defended. Defense set the tone. Our defense was outstanding for the majority of the game.
We played a lot like we practiced all week and that's a credit to our kids and my staff. This is something we have to build on. Now we have to bottle it up and take it on the road. That's a good win. That's a terrific club especially on the offensive end, they are outstanding.
On having a week with no Wednesday game:
I thought our preparation was outstanding. We practiced really well for the majority of the week. I thought we took advantage of managing bodies in terms of when to ease off a little bit. We looked fresh tonight. We looked like the fresher team. We were able to game plan a little longer for East Carolina, a day or two longer, with no mid-week game. We hadn't had that here this early in the season because of the West Virginia game historically.
On winning big at home in conference:
A team like that is never out of the game. I've watched enough tape. They play from behind as well as any team in America. They are an amazing comeback team. We got off to a pretty good start at UTEP the other day too. Our crowd energizes us. Like any team that play in their building, we have a security blanket. Clearly we fed off it and our fans fed off our play. It's a lot easier to play from ahead when the ball goes in the basket. It energizes your defense.
I do know this, when you don't rebound, you better be plus in your assists to turnover ratio and that's where we compensated for the negative rebound margin tonight. We are plus nine on the assists and plus five on the turnovers.
On winning the points in the paint:
We wanted to attack inside. Just because it says points in the paint doesn't mean you have to jam it in, jam it in. We played on the bounce in the paint. We posted up some different guys in the paint. We executed really well in our sets.
ECU Coach Jeff Lebo
Opening Statements:
Congratulations to Marshall. They took it to us right from the beginning. They had us on our heels. I thought they were ready to play and they deserved to win this game. Their size and strength was a huge factor in this game. We couldn't finish. We missed a lot of easy ones around the rim. They came out with the right mindset.
On not finishing shots:
We had a lot that turned into threes on the other end. They were like five or six point plays. It happened multiple times and that really hurt us in this [game].
On senior forward Maurice Kemp's tough night:
He has struggled on the road against the higher level players. He's 6-foot-7 and about 185lbs and got beat around tonight with those big bodies around the rim.