HUNTINGTON, W.Va. -- Senior forawrd Elijah Pittman scored a game-high 35 points as Marshall bounced back from consecutive overtime losses to beat visiting UNC Wilmington 96-78 Saturday at the Cam Henderson Center.
Marshall (3-2) built a 15-point lead at halftime thanks in large part to Pittman's prolific shooting from behind the 3-point arc.
The senior accounted for 22 points in the opening half, including 18 on six 3-pointers.
"When you shoot open shots and you're a good shooter the percentages are going to be very high," Marshall Coach Tom Herrion said. "(Pittman) has missed a lot of open shots but I think he's a tremendous deep shooter. It became contagious and I think it's reflective of our unselfishness. Guys are getting him the ball in the right spots."
UNCW (3-4) opened the second half on a 12-5 run to cut the Thundering Herd lead to 53-41, but Marshall was able to withstand the Seahawks' run.
"When they started off hot we got into a timeout and looked at each other and said, 'We've been through this. You all want to go another night like this or are we going to show ourselves that we improved?'" Pittman said. "Our team stepped up."
As a team the Herd shot 59 percent (36 of 61) from the field and outrebounded Wilmington 35-32. Marshall's trouble at the foul line continued Saturday with a combined 13 of 23 effort.
"We've got to learn to play with a lead," Herrion said. "Today we buckled a little bit then we were able to stretch it back to a comfortable lead. We've got to respond coming out of halfitme, up or down. Forty nine points in the second half is not a good number. They shot 55 percent in the second half -- not a good number."
UNCW Coach Buzz Peterson said his team was hoping to catch the Thundering Herd down coming off the overtime losses at Morehead State and at home against Stephen F. Austin.
"We got caught up in Marshall's style of play," he said. "We were hoping we would catch them on a flat day after those last two games. We've been in that situation before where we lost some games at the end but Tommy did a good job of getting them ready to play."
The Herd had four players, including Pittman, finish with double-digit scoring totals. Kareem Canty had 19 points to go with 10 assists while Ryan Taylor posted a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds. Chris Thomas finished with 15 points.
Marshall has a quick turnaround for its next game. The Thundering Herd will host future Conference USA member Western Kentucky at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.
Contact sportswriter Tom Bragg at tom.br...@dailymail.com or 304-348-4871. Follow him on Twitter @TomBraggSports.