C-USA tournament: Tarrant's 3-pointer to give Green Wave 66-64 win over Herd
TULSA, Okla. -- The 3-point shot killed Marshall's men's basketball team against Tulane once again. This time, it ended the Thundering Herd's season.
The Green Wave started making its 3s, while the Herd couldn't find its touch from the same distance, as Tulane eliminated Marshall from the Conference USA tournament in the first round, 66-64. The eighth-seeded Green Wave faces Memphis tonight.
"It was a frustrating end to the season," Marshall Coach Tom Herrion said. "It was a dagger through our heart at the end. The 3-ball ended up beating us in the second half. We didn't guard it well enough in the second half."
The fatal long-distance shot came with 6.9 seconds left in the game. Ricky Tarrant who made five 3s in the game, banked in a deep one from the top of the key to make it 66-63.
"It actually felt good," Tarrant said. "It went straight to the backboard and then went in. I just looked at the shot clock after Jordan (Callahan) passed me the ball and I saw that I had to get the shot up."
The Herd (13-19, 6-10 C-USA) had chances after that. Josh Davis was called for a flagrant foul - elbowing DeAndre Kane in the jaw - that happened before Tarrant hit his final 3, but the officials didn't review it until after the basket. Kane made one of two free throws, then found Elijah Pittman in the corner. But Pittman's off-balance lean-in bank shot attempt was off the mark as the buzzer sounded.
"Coach drew a great play up and we executed it great," Kane said. "If the layup was there, I would have taken the layup, but he cut me off a little bit. I didn't think I had a good angle at the basket and I saw Elijah open. He's a great shooter and was knocking down shots all year, so I gave him the ball."
Marshall made just three of 16 3-pointers in Wednesday's game.
The Green Wave (19-13, 6-10 C-USA) made just one of its first 14 3-pointers and trailed by as many as 13 in the second half, but came storming back after finally finding its touch from beyond the arc. Tulane made five straight 3s and seven of its last nine. The Green Wave handled Marshall in its first win over the Herd, 91-75 on Feb. 6, by making 11 of 25 3-pointers.
The Herd began the game in the super-sized lineup it started with for its Senior Night win over Southern Mississippi - Robert Goff, Dennis Tinnon, Nigel Spikes, Kane and Pittman, four of the five standing 6-foot-8 or taller. That didn't last long, as Goff was whistled for two fouls by the 17:19 mark of the first, but Marshall still pulled out to an early lead.
The Herd led by as many as 10 in the first half, and went into the locker room at halftime leading 29-20, partly because it kept the Green Wave stone cold from the 3-point line.
Tulane sprinted from Marshall in their first duel on Feb. 6 by making eight of 16 first-half 3-pointers and leading by 24 at the half.
Against Marshall on Wednesday night, the Green Wave shot 12 3s in the first half, but it made just one.
Tulane made just eight of 30 shots (26.7 percent) in the first half. Meanwhile, the Herd made 12 of 23 shots (52.2 percent) in the first 20 minutes. Kane and Tinnon combined to make nine of 10 in the first half - Kane making four of five and Tinnon making all five of his attempts.
The Herd pulled away from Tulane in the first half thanks to a 10-0 run that started with 9:49 left in the period. Josh Davis' layup tied the game at 14 with 11:25 to go, but Tinnon then snagged a steal and a layup, Spikes hit a jumper and Kane hit back-to-back 3s. The first was a bank shot and the second was a deep rainbow shot with a defender in his face.
Kane scored 22 points on 7-of-10 shooting, while Tinnon scored 16 points with 11 rebounds for his 10th double-double of the season. Pittman scored 12 points. Tarrant led Tulane with 21 points, while Davis scored 18 with a game-high 12 rebounds.
Contact sportswriter Derek Redd at email@example.com or 304-348-1712. His blog is at blogs.dailymail.com/marshall. Follow him on Twitter @derekredd.