"There was no team meeting, but there was a point in time where they told us we had to go home and look in the mirror," Pittman said. "Do we want to win or do we want to just be another team here just to play? I guess people looked in the mirror and said we've got to change and we have to step up."
That began the day after the Ohio game. The players had the day off, but that didn't stop them from coming in on their own to shoot. They felt a different energy during this week's practices, and that carried over against the Golden Hurricane. A 19-0 run in the first half put the Herd ahead for good. Marshall dominated on the glass, outrebounding Tulsa 47-32. The Herd also matched a season high with 12 3-pointers, including four each from Pittman and Kane.
"We played without any agendas tonight," Marshall Coach Tom Herrion said after the game. "We played so cohesive."
The Herd needs that to continue versus the Miners. UTEP (7-6, 1-0) won its conference opener 66-57 over Tulane. The Miners are led by senior swingman Julian Washburn (13.5 points per game, 4.5 rebounds per game) and senior guard Konner Tucker (12.8 ppg, 2.7 rpg), who led Sam Houston State in scoring last season.
UTEP lost four straight early in its non-conference schedule, but rebounded to notch wins over Nebraska and Oregon. Marshall should control the boards against UTEP much like it did against Tulsa. The Miners' 30.4 rebounds per game ranks them 322nd in Division I.
Pittman said the formula to play well against UTEP is an easy one.
"The same way we came in focused for this (Tulsa) game has got to be the same way for the next 15," Pittman said.
As dominant as it was against the Hurricane, the Herd now knows it has that type of performance in it, and should be able to offer an encore.
"It definitely gives us the confidence that we should be playing like this all the time," Goff said. "I think tonight was just a step forward."
Contact sportswriter Derek Redd at derek.r...@dailymail.com or 304-348-1712. His blog is at blogs.dailymail.com/marshall. Follow him on Twitter @derekredd.