CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Marshall men's basketball Coach Tom Herrion said that if his team hits three benchmarks, it usually makes for a good game. He wants 10 or fewer turnovers. He wants to hold the opponent below 40 percent shooting. He wants to pull down at least 10 more rebounds than the other team.
He didn't get any of those Saturday afternoon at the Civic Center, and that allowed No. 11 Cincinnati to pull away for a 72-56 win.
The Herd (6-5) allowed the Bearcats (10-0) to shoot 45 percent from the floor, outrebound it 40-31 and Cincinnati's defense forced Marshall into 20 turnovers.
"We were inept offensively," Herrion said. "We were not able to get in any flow or rhythm offensively. Twenty turnovers is going to cause a problem every night."
Nine of those 20 turnovers came in the first 8:06 of the game, as Cincinnati's pressure, trapping defense gave the Herd fits. Marshall last led the game when D.D. Scarver's second 3-pointer of the game gave the Herd a 9-7 lead with 16:30 left in the first half. Then the Bearcats' defense tightened up and Marshall never led again.
Cincinnati forced six turnovers in less than three minutes and Marshall's shooting woes around the basket continued. The Herd made all five of their first-half 3-point attempts. They made just three of 17 shots from everywhere else on the floor. The Herd went into halftime down just 29-25 thanks to the Bearcats' own poor shooting. Cincinnati made just 13 of 38 first-half shots and only one of 11 from beyond the arc.
Point guard Tamron Manning said that, as the game wore on, the Herd became better against the press.
"It was tough to handle at first," said the freshman, who played 30 minutes at the point Saturday. "But once we got comfortable, we started to handle it a little better. We jumped in the air to make a lot of passes, which was probably the most negative thing we did. But as the game went on, I thought we handled it."