Second Half Scoring Leads Herd to 64-48 Win

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HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Marshall outscored Savannah State by 14 in the second half to remain undefeated in the Cam Henderson Center in a 64-48 win over the Tigers on Wednesday.
The win improved the Thundering Herd to 7-5 on the season and 6-0 in Henderson. Savannah State fell to 5-7.
"Excellent win, but we have to get better," said head coach Tom Herrion. "There's no mistake about it. That was as consistent of 40 minutes we've played all season in my opinion."
For the fourth-straight game, junior guard D.D. Scarver led the team in scoring with 18 points. He was 5-of-11 from the field including 3-of-6 from three-point range.
Senior Dennis Tinnon scored 14 points on 6-of-7 shooting. He started the game 6-of-6, his first miss coming late in the second half. Junior forward Elijah Pittman rounded out the double-figure scorers with 10 points, all coming in the second half when Marshall outscored Savannah State 37-48.
The Herd matched the Tigers' full-court press with stifling perimeter defense. For the first time since Dec. 29, 1991, a Marshall opponent was held without a made three-pointer as Savannah State finished 0-for-7.
The Herd shot 5-of-16 from three-point range and finished 41.7 percent from the floor including a second half percentage of 47.4. The Tigers finished 33.3 percent from the field.
Marshall fell behind early in the game, 14-6 at the 12:40 mark, its largest deficit of the contest. The Herd then went on a 19-4 run over the next six minutes of play, capped by back-to-back threes from Scarver to take a 25-18 lead. The Tigers closed the half on a 7-2 run as the Herd led 27-25 at the break.
The Herd never trailed in the second half and led 43-39 with 8:28 to play before going on a 17-5 run to extend its lead to 60-44 with 1:06 to play.
"At times, we were really, really good, but too many turnovers," said Herrion, who donned a green jacket in memory of the lives lost at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newton, Conn.
"Nineteen is a bad number. But in the second half we were so much more efficient."
Marshall outrebounded Savannah State 41-38. Nigel Spikes, Pittman and Tinnon all recorded a team-high six rebounds.
"I would have liked to stretch the rebound margin a little more for us," Herrion said. "We have to continue to address that. We have to continue to be a better rebounding team. It's a good win for our kids, coming out of exams. They've had a great attitude, so I'm happy for them."
Rashad Hassan led the Tigers with 11 points and eight rebounds. Preston Blackman had a solid all-around game with eight points, seven rebounds and five assists.
Marshall will next be in action on Saturday when it travels to Lexington, Ky. to face No. 23 Kentucky at 4 p.m. The game at Rupp Arena will be televised on ESPN2.
Marshall (7-5) 64 - Savannah State (5-7) 48
Cam Henderson Center - 5,316
Marshall Starters (Career/Season): Dennis Tinnon (46/11), Nigel Spikes (45/12), D.D. Scarver (12/12), Elijah Pittman (12/12), Tamron Manning (1/1)
Series History: Marshall leads 3-0, 2-0 in Huntington
Marshall's Win…
Extends its Cam Henderson Center win record to seven games in a row.
Makes the Thundering Herd 21-3 inside the Henderson Center under Herrion.
Improves MU to 344-106 in the Henderson Center.
Gives Marshall its 18th straight win while leading at home in the regular-season.
Makes the Herd 43-12 under Herrion in games which it outrebounds the opponent and 7-1 this season.
Improves MU to 18-2 in Herrion coached games in which the opponent scores 60 or less points. The Herd is 4-0 this season.
Team Notes
Marshall has won the opening tip in 12 of its 13 games this season (Hofstra).
A three pointer by Chris Martin in the first half extended the Herd's streak of games with a made three pointer to 691.
MU erased an early, first half eight point deficit with a 19-5 run over six plus minutes to take a six point lead. The run gave the Herd its first lead of the game.
Savannah State was held to 0-for-7 from three point range, a feat that has not happened to a MU opponent since December 29, 1991 vs. Penn State in a 78-64 loss in the Palm Beach Classic in Palm Beach, Fla.
Head coach Tom Herrion reached win 50 in his 81st career game at the helm of the Herd, becoming the fastest MU coach to reach the 50 win plateau since Rick Huckabay (1983-89).
For the fifth time under Herrion, Marshall has held an opponent to under 50 points.
The Herd's 64 points are the second most surrendered by Savannah State this season (71, Marquette).
SSU's 48 points are the second lowest by a Marshall opponent this season (47, Longwood).
Individual Notes
Tamron Manning made his first career start in his eighth career game as a member of the Herd.
D.D. Scarver and Elijah Pittman have each made a three point basket in all 12 games of their MU career.
Scarver's 18 points give him double-digit points in 11 of his 12 career games and 10th game in a row.
The junior also has been the leading scoring in four consecutive games and seven this season.
Nigel Spikes collected six rebounds for 501 in his career. He has 47 career games with five or more rebounds.
Dennis Tinnon began the game a perfect 6-for-6 from the field. He did not miss until the 7:32 mark of the second half. He finished 6-for-7 for 85.7 percent, which is tied for eighth best all-time for a Herd player and surpassing his career of 80 percent.
Tinnon finished with 14 points, the 24th time of his career he has had 10 or points in a game.
Tinnon, for the 42nd of 47 career games has had at least five rebounds after grabbing six.
Chris Martin had a career-high three rebounds.
Head Coach Tom Herrion quotes - Dec. 19 versus Savannah State
Opening Statements:
That's a good win for us, coming out of exams. It's a good team we beat. They played that way - with the exception of their Ohio State game - the whole year. So we have a lot of respect for that team, and I thought our group did a good job. I thought our bench gave us a great lift early in the game. We got kind of on our heels and played from behind early, and then I thought that group with Martin, Boykins, Hanner, Goff at the one stretch. They kind of got us back in. The press was good to us. Changed tempo again. Both looks that we had in the press. At times, we were really, really good, but too many turnovers. Nineteen is a bad number. But in the second half we were so much more efficient. Forty-seven from the floor, 50 from three, and then 68 from the foul line which is a good number. We made free throws down the stretch to kind of stretch it out.
Excellent win, but we have to get better. There's no mistake about it. That was as consistent of 40 minutes we've played all season in my opinion. Two halves. We did a good job bottling them up. Thirty-three percent. They didn't make a three tonight. I would have liked to stretch the rebound margin a little more for us. We have to continue to address that. We have to continue to be a better rebounding team. A good win for our kids, coming out of exams. They've had a great attitude, so I'm happy for them.
On wearing the green jacket the entire game:
It's my way of paying tribute to Newtown, Connecticut and Sandy Hook Elementary School. It's on route 84, and I'd say easily two to three hundred times I've driven through that area recruiting when I was a young coach up in New England. With a six year old son that's going to be seven right after Christmas, that's in the first grade. I didn't think about it this way: those kids, boys and girls, were of the same age of the kids that come to my camp. So it was my way of paying tribute. Green is their color at that school. Aaron Goebbel helped with the creative idea. It's just a small way for me to pay homage to the senseless, ridiculous, despicable slaughtering of all the people last Friday.
On how the press led to positive stretches in the first half:
The press has been good to us, but you have to remember that in order to press, you've got to score. We put the ball in the basket during some stretches and got into the press and then we kind of mixed in - we have to different looks: a two guard front press and then we have a point one, one man press up top too - so we just kept mixing it up. I thought it was good to us. Even if we don't turn them over, it shortens the clock that we have to guard in the half court against a team that's somewhat deliberate. Our defense helped to create some offense during different points in the game in my opinion. It was good to us. But again, I thought our bench, probably in that same stretch, really ignited us a little bit in the first half.
On the rebounding of missed free throws:
Free throw box out is really a critical thing, and when you're not a consistent free throw shooting team, you have to work on some things that you do on offensive free throws. But we made big ones down the stretch. Guys stepped up there with a lot more confidence tonight. Nigel made two big ones with about four minutes to go, I think. And Goff and obviously Scarver steps up. We have got to continue to be more consistent. We can't leave points on the foul line at any point.
On the made free throws:
Confidence. It kind of permeates. Everyone is watching so when one or two guys step up and make it, everyone kind of relaxes a little bit more. It was nice to see.
On Dennis' role of bringing the ball up a few times:
The way they started the game, they ran off of him on the inbound. We took a couple of times to get ready for it. We want to attack off that pass and stretch the floor which I thought we did a better job of as the game unfolded. We were a little tentative early against the pressure, and then I thought we started attacking. I thought Martin played a lot better tonight. He gave us really good minutes at the point guard position.