"There wasn't a lot of opportunity for us to get out on the break," said Iona Coach Tim Cluess, whose team had won seven consecutive games entering Sunday's matchup. "They did a nice job of finding our guys in transition and hustling back.
"I think we were a little careless with the basketball and we missed a few of those by three or four inches where maybe some of the teams we've played weren't as long or athletic."
Herrion said that can be attributed, in part, to a halftime adjustment that mitigated Iona's relentless offensive pressure.
"We started getting wide a little bit," he said. "They get out so quick to Machado and they fly those wings and we were finally able to get out a little more in transition defense and kind of take that pitch away, which we gave up early in the game.
"I thought that was a good adjustment for our guys."
The win snapped a two-game losing skid for Marshall. The Herd lost at home to Ohio and on the road to No. 3 Syracuse, the latter of which might be No. 1 when the new top 25 polls are released today.
Marshall had never lost consecutive home games or dropped three games in a row under Herrion.
"We just beat a very good team," Herrion said of Iona, which had an RPI of No. 28 prior to the game. "I hope you understand how good of a club that is."
Pitts finished with a season-high 25 points on 9-of-17 shooting (4-for-7 on 3-pointers). Kane had a well-rounded stat line of 19 points, five assists and five steals.
Marshall outscored Iona 40-23 in the second half and had a 25-8 edge on second-chance points overall.
The Herd has three more home games before Christmas, with the next coming Saturday against High Point.
Contact sportswriter Chuck McGill at chuck.mcg...@dailymail.com or 304-348-1712. His blog is at blogs.dailymail.com/marshall.