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Marshall basketball: Herd stunned by Delaware State on home court

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Following their pre-Christmas drubbing at the hands of Kentucky, Marshall men's basketball players vowed to attack the rest of the schedule with a renewed vigor. That type of performance, they said, couldn't happen again.

But facing a sub-.500 Delaware State team missing its only double-digit scorer, the Herd fell 53-51 on Wednesday night at the Cam Henderson Center.

The Herd (7-7) shot 36.2 percent from the floor and couldn't overcome the Hornets' (6-8, 1-0 MEAC) deliberate offensive pace. Three-pointers also did Marshall in, as Delaware State hit five of nine from beyond the arc in the second half and seven of 17 overall.

"It's unheard of," senior forward Dennis Tinnon said. "I mean, gosh. It really sucks to lose. We didn't expect to lose this one. We don't take it seriously enough. You have to get to a point where you just say you're sick of losing. I know I am."

Tinnon scored 13 points with a game-high 10 rebounds, and Elijah Pittman led all scorers with 17 points, but the two also combined for seven of Marshall's 15 turnovers.

Trailing by as many as 12 in the second half, the Herd finally chipped away at the Hornets' lead and two Pittman free throws with 3:02 left in the game put Marshall ahead 43-41. But Delaware State's Tyshawn Bell answered with a 3-pointer to regain the lead. Marshall's last lead came on the next possession, when Kelvin Amayo's layup put the Herd up 45-44. But Chris Lewis hit two free throws and the Herd trailed the rest of the way.

The game's second half was a scoring bonanza compared to the first half, as Delaware State took a 21-17 lead into halftime. The Hornets were content to spend the game weaving at the top of the key and draining the play clock. DSU entered the game without four players, all benched for disciplinary reasons. Two of them were Tahj Tate, a sophomore guard who averaged 15.7 points per game, and Kendall Gray, a 6-foot-10 sophomore center who averaged 3.5 blocks per game.

With those players gone, Hornets Coach Greg Jackson said slowing down was his best alternative.

"We knew that if we could get (Marshall) in a half-court set, and keep them out of playing in a straight line and limit their possessions, we had a good chance of winning this basketball game," he said. "Our attitude is if we could run the clock as low as we could and give ourselves a chance to have a shot ... even if the shot clock runs out, they get the ball and we get a chance to go down and set up our defense."

Marshall's defense was solid, holding the Hornets to 38.8 percent shooting for the game and outrebounding DSU 38-29. Its offense, though, was a different story. Actually, it was the same story as most of the last eight games. The Herd struggled from the floor and struggled to find an offensive rhythm. Wednesday night was the sixth time in Marshall's last eight games that it was held below 40 percent shooting.

Marshall Coach Tom Herrion admitted it was a performance he didn't see coming. He had praised his team's attitude during its practices over the holidays. As for how Marshall played Wednesday, Herrion said several times that disappointing would be an understatement.

"We have to come to grips with what we are," Herrion said. "We are so inefficient on offense it's just so damaging to us, night in and night out. We have to come to grips with it. That's what we are.

"Our defense was good enough to win tonight," he added. "But 15 turnovers, you leave 10 points on the foul line ... we're trying to seek answers as we move forward."

Amayo scored eight points and recorded three steals in 16 minutes for Marshall, but made just two of seven free throws. It was his first extended playing time of his two-game college career, as he became eligible just before the Kentucky game and played three minutes versus the Wildcats.

Casey Walker led Delaware State with 13 points, while Marques Oliver added 12 points and six rebounds and Bell scored 11, making three of four 3-pointers.

Marshall next plays Saturday at Ohio at 2 p.m.

Contact sportswriter Derek Redd at derek.redd@dailymail.com or 304-348-1712. His blog is at blogs.dailymail.com/marshall. Follow him on Twitter @derekredd.

 

DELAWARE STATE (6-8)

Player    Min    FG    3pt    FT    R    A    PT

Walker    37    5-13    3-8    0-0    5    0    13

Oliver, M.    32    5-8    0-0    2-4    6    0    12

Bowman    23    2-9    0-0    0-1    6    1    4

Oliver, B.    28    1-2    0-0    0-0    3    5    2

Doyle    10    0-0    0-0    0-0    1    2    0

Joyner    15    1-5    1-2    2-2    0    1    5

Bell    33    4-7    3-4    0-0    4    0    11

Thomas    1    0-0    0-0    0-0    0    0    0

Sill    5    0-2    0-2    0-0    1    0    0

Lawson    2    0-0    0-0    0-0    0    0    0

Lewis    14    1-3    0-1    4-4    0    3    6

Team                    3

Totals    200    19-49    7-17    8-11    29    12    53

Percentages        .388    .412    .727

MARSHALL (7-7)

Player    Min    FG    3pt    FT    R    A    PT

Tinnon    30    4-10    1-3    4-4    10    2    13

Pittman    35    4-10    2-4    7-8    5    1    17

Spikes    24    3-6    0-0    0-2    8    0    6

Scarver    24    1-6    1-4    0-0    2    2    3

Manning    23    0-3    0-2    0-0    2    3    0

Martin    23    0-2    0-2    0-2    0    0    0

Goff    14    1-2    0-0    0-0    4    0    2

Hanner    11    1-2    0-0    0-0    1    0    2

Amayo    16    3-5    0-1    2-7    0    1    8

Boykins    15    0-1    0-1    0-0    1    0    0

Totals                    5

Totals    200    17-47    4-17    13-23    38    9    51

Percentages        .362    .235    .565

Delaware State    21    32-53

Marshall    17    34-51

Blocked shots: Delaware St. 4 (Oliver 2), Marshall 1 (Manning 1).

Steals: Delaware St. 10 (M. Oliver 3), Marshall 5 (Amayo 3).

Turnovers: Delaware St. 13, Marshall 15.

Total fouls: Delaware St. 18, Marshall 14.

Fouled out: M. Oliver.

Technical fouls: None.

Attendance: 5,039.


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