HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – While it stormed back at the end, it was a dismal beginning that did in the Marshall men's basketball team Saturday night against Arkansas State.
The Thundering Herd fell behind quickly and battled back twice from double-digit deficits, but a last-second 3-point attempt by freshman point guard Kareem Canty missed the mark and Marshall fell to the Red Wolves, 83-82, at the Cam Henderson Center.
Marshall (5-7) has now dropped five of its last six games and five straight against Division I competition.
"We lost the game in the first five minutes in the game," Marshall Coach Tom Herrion said.
The Herd pulled into a tie for the last time with 41 seconds left. Ryan Taylor drained a 3-pointer off a Chris Thomas pass that erased what had been an 18-point ASU lead. But the only other basket Marshall made from the floor after that was the tip-in off Canty's final miss that produced the final score.
"When I caught it, obviously I'm not the tallest guy, and I saw that dude who was 6-5 on me," Canty said. "I couldn't really see the rim. I had to just try to get a rhythm shot. It felt good when it left my hand. I just shot it too hard."
ASU (6-4) made one shot from the floor in those last 41 seconds, a Brandon Reed 3-pointer with 25 seconds left. That was the 12th from beyond the arc the Red Wolves made Saturday.
"They made shots and we did a poor job guarding it," Herrion said. "We're one of the best teams in the country guarding 3-point shots. I talked about it for four days and did a poor job of transferring our points of emphasis onto the floor tonight."
Marshall and ASU began the game on opposite sides of the shooting spectrum – Arkansas State scorching and Marshall frigid. ASU made six of its first nine shots, including three of five from 3-point range. Marshall missed eight of its first nine, and that led to a 19-5 ASU advantage.