HUNTINGTON, W.Va. -- The Marshall men's basketball team's two-game road trip last weekend didn't end the way the Thundering Herd wanted. Yet that doesn't mean they're ignoring the first half of that excursion.
The Herd's win last Thursday at Rice snapped a four-game losing streak and a 10-game road losing streak. Now Marshall wants to bring some of that home for tonight's game versus Florida International.
"We should be losing very few, if any, games in this building," Marshall coach Tom Herrion said of the Cam Henderson Center. "And we have lost too many to date. Our challenge to our group coming off the heels of our trip is to protect our house. We've got to do our part. As players and coaches, now we've got to do our part."
The Herd (7-14, 1-5 Conference USA) has won just six of 10 home games this season. Its last two contests in Huntington were back-to-back losses to North Texas and Tulsa. Marshall rebounded from those setbacks with that streak-busting 73-63 win over Rice.
The components that were missing versus the Mean Green and Golden Hurricane showed up versus the Owls. Marshall shot better (45.8 percent from the floor), rebounded better (36-33 over the Owls) and kept turnovers down (10 for the game).
"It's a reference point, a teaching point where when we focus on things, when we do things like take care of the ball and outrebound them and make free throws, no matter how the opponent is, that usually puts you in the position to have success," Herrion said. "We had some of those at Louisiana Tech, but we had one glaring omission with the turnovers."
Marshall shot even better against the Bulldogs (50.9 percent for the game) and outrebounded one of the conference's better rebounding teams, 37-31. But 17 first-half turnovers and 22 for the game led to a 98-77 loss. The Panthers (11-9, 3-2 C-USA) are among the conference's better teams in steals, fourth with 6.9 per game. Herrion said Marshall will have to worry about another issue that popped up against Louisiana Tech, stopping the other team from driving to the hoop.
FIU doesn't rely much on long-distance shooting. Its 298 3-point attempts are the third-fewest in C-USA and account for 28 percent of their total attempts. In comparison, Marshall's 440 3-point attempts, the fourth-most in C-USA, account for nearly 35 percent of its total attempts.