"I think it's a lot more mental than it is anything else," Manning said. "You've just got to buckle down and guard that little action up top. And once they get into their actual offense, just continue to guard. They'll make you guard late in the shot clock and the biggest thing is to rebound, because they're going to have to put up a shot late."
Rebounding isn't a problem for Marshall, whose 39.7 boards per game is 22nd-best in Division I. The Herd also did a better job scoring in its last game, a 73-72 loss at Memphis where Marshall had four chances to tie or take its first lead in the last 45 seconds. Those 72 points were the Herd's best scoring output on the road since its 103-100 double-overtime loss at Hofstra on Nov. 18. And now the team returns home for a two-game stand, where it's done quite well against C-USA foes.
Marshall thumped Tulsa by 18 and East Carolina by 21 in its first two home conference games. If the Herd wins tonight, it will earn a 3-0 home C-USA record for the first time. The last time Marshall started 3-0 at home in conference play was when it went 4-0 in the Mid-American Conference in the 1999-2000 season.
The Herd is dealing with some bumps and bruises. Leading scorer and assist man DeAndre Kane is recovering from a groin injury, while forward Elijah Pittman has been battling an illness that kept him out of the starting lineup against Memphis. Herrion said center Nigel Spikes, who hurt his ankle against Memphis, should be fine.
Junior guard D.D. Scarver said that, no matter the injury report, the Herd needs to keep its momentum at the Henderson Center.
"You've got to protect the home court, now," Scarver said. "It's just pride. You've got to hold it down. It's your home and you just have to be ready to play."
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.