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HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Elijah Pittman scored 17 points and Dennis Tinnon had 13, but overall the points were hard to come by in a 53-51 loss by the Marshall men's basketball team to Delaware State on Wednesday at the Cam Henderson Center.
Tinnon had 10 rebounds to go with his point total for his fourth double-double of the season. The senior forward was 4-of-10 from the field and 4-of-4 from the free throw line.
Pittman scored a game-high 17 points on 4-of-10 shooting including 2-of-4 from three-point range. The junior forward also shot well from the free throw line, making 7-of-8.
The two teams combined to score just 38 points in the first half as the Hornets (6-8) led 21-17. The Thundering Herd (7-7) shot just 30.4 percent from the field in the first half, while the Hornets shot 31.0 percent.
"We have to come to grips with what we are," said head coach Tom Herrion. "We are so inefficient on offense that it is damaging to us night-in and night-out."
Delaware State led the entirety of the first half and reached its largest lead of 12, with 15:56 to play in the game. The Hornets led 31-21 at the 14:36 mark of the second half before the Herd went on an 18-7 run to get within one point, 38-37 with 5:42 remaining.
A pair of Pittman free throw gave the Herd its first lead of the game, 43-41 with 3:02 remaining.
A 46-46 tie was broke by a three-pointer by the Hornets' Jabari Joyner to give Delaware State a 49-46 lead with 58 seconds to play. Two more free throws by Pittman brought the Herd within one point, 49-48 with 43 seconds left, but that was as close as Marshall got due to clutch free throw shooting down the stretch by the Hornets.
Both teams shot better in the second half as Marshall was 41.7 percent and DSU was 50.0 percent. For the game, Marshall finished 17-for-47 (36.2 percent) and DSU was 19-for-49 (38.8 percent).
"Our defense was good enough to win tonight," Herrion said. "But offensively, we had 15 turnovers. We left 10 points on the foul line."
Marshall missed its first seven free throw attempts and finished 13-of-23 for 56.5 percent thanks to a 13-for-18 effort in the second half. The Hornets finished 8-for-11 for 72.7 percent.
Marshall won the rebounding battle 38-29 including 20 offensive rebounds which led to 25 second chance points.
Senior center Nigel Spikes had six points and eight rebounds. Freshman guard Kelvin Amayo scored his first career points with the Herd, finishing with eight on 3-of-5 shooting.
Three Hornets scored in double figures, led by Casey Walker with 13. Marques Oliver scored 12 points and Tyshawn Bell had 11.
Marshall will next be action on Saturday as it takes on Ohio at 2 p.m. in Athens, Ohio.