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HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Despite outscoring No. 22 Memphis by five points (33-28) in the second half, the Marshall men's basketball team fell to the Tigers 71-59 Saturday in front of 6,116 at the Cam Henderson Center.
"This was clearly a game of two halves for us," said head coach Tom Herrion. "The second was a game of 'haves' and the first half was 'have-nots' in terms of our defense, and our scoring drought."
The Thundering Herd (11-15, 4-7 Conference USA) led 13-9 with 15:14 to play in the first half. However, the Tigers (22-3, 11-0) then went on an 18-2 run and for the rest of the half, held Marshall to just four field goals. The Herd faced its largest halftime deficit at home this season, 43-26.
Marshall opened the second half on a 15-3 run to trail by just five points, 46-41 with 10:44 remaining. The Tigers did not hit their first field goal until the 13:58 mark and shot just 37.9 percent in the second half, cooling off from a 51.4 percent mark in the first half.
The Herd never got closer than that five-point margin however, 20 turnovers - 10 in each half - was too much to overcome.
"The numbers speak for themselves," Herrion said. "We gave up 43 in the first half and gave up 28 in the second. You can't have 20 turnovers at home. The kids played hard."
The Tigers scored 20 points off of those turnovers. Adonis Thomas led Memphis, which won its 16th consecutive games, with 23 points and 10 rebounds.
Marshall's Dennis Tinnon also had a double-double, his seventh of the season and 19th of his career with 15 points and 13 rebounds.
Elijah Pittman and junior guard DeAndre Kane both finished with 16 points. Kane added seven rebounds and five assists while Pittman had six boards.
When Kane got his fourth point of the game, he passed Naismith Memorial Hall of Famer and Herd great Hal Greer for 19th on Marshall's career scoring list.
The Herd shot 38.2 percent from the field, but just 25.0 percent (6-of-24) from three-point range. Half of the Marshall three's came from Kane who was 3-of-6.
Marshall will play at UCF (17-8, 7-4) on Wednesday at 7 p.m. The Knights lost at UTEP on Saturday.
MARSHALL POSTGAME NOTES
Memphis (22-3, 11-0 C-USA) 71 - Marshall (11-15, 4-7 C-USA) 59
Cam Henderson Center - 6,116
Marshall Starters (Career/Season): Dennis Tinnon (59/24), Nigel Spikes (58/25), D.D. Scarver (26/26), Elijah Pittman (23/23), DeAndre Kane (87/20)
Series History: Memphis leads 13-2 and 5-2 in Huntington
Moves the Thundering Herd to 10-3 inside the Cam Henderson Center this season.
Makes head coach Tom Herrion 134-79 all-time and 54-41 during his three seasons at MU.
Takes Marshall's all-time record to 1,394-1,021-2.
Moves Marshall's all-time Cam Henderson Center record to 348-109 and 40-21 in C-USA games.
Improves the Herd to 16-6 in conference home games under coach Herrion.
Marshall's halftime deficit of 17 points (43-26) was its largest of the season at home.
Marshall scored the first eight points of the second half. The Herd outscored the Tigers 33-28 in the second half.
Dennis Tinnon had 15 points and 13 rebounds for his seventh double-double of the season, 19th of his career.
Nigel Spikes had two blocked shots, his 11th consecutive game with at least one block.
DeAndre Kane scored 16 points and passed Naismith Memorial Hall of Famer Hal Greer (1,377) for 19th on Marshall's all-time scoring list. Kane now has 1,390 career points.
Kane had five assists and passed Cornelius Jackson, Sam Henry and A.W. Hamilton on Marshall's season assists list. His 159 assists this season is the 16th best mark in a season.
Kane was subbed out for the first time in five games. He was taken out at the 13:06 mark of the second half due to injury. He returned three minutes later and played the remainder of the game.
Marshall Head Coach Tom Herrion:
"This was clearly a game of two halves for us. The second was a game of 'haves' and the first half was 'have-nots' in terms of our defense, and our scoring drought. We came out of the gate and made a few shots. It was a little bit of fool's gold, but we didn't get enough stops and went through a major drought. It was very inefficient in that stretch. We regrouped at halftime and played like we needed to play. We were down 17 against a top 25 team in the country. You have to play perfect, which we did for a while. We cut it to five (points), but I think we missed a free-throw, cut it to four then they hit a big three. The numbers speak for themselves. We gave up 43 in the first half and gave up 28 in the second. You can't have 20 turnovers at home. The kids played hard."
On Memphis' Adonis Thomas:
"He made a lot of money tonight. He's a pro. He's the best guy on the floor. He has hurt us both games."
On the energy levels in the second half:
"We had great energy in the beginning of the game. We just didn't get enough stops in the first half. The second half, we came out and guarded. We were physical. We threw our bodies around. We got the ball inside early. When the ball goes in, it energizes the defense. When you put the ball in the basket, you become a better defensive team. We're no different than any other team in America. We were down 17 against an excellent Memphis club. We played pretty perfect. They didn't score through the first media timeout. We were playing pretty well defensively, and then we started making some shots. It was too big of a difference to make up against a great team, and we hurt ourselves with some breakdowns."