HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – At one point during the Marshall men's basketball team's game Saturday night versus the University of Alabama at Birmingham, the Thundering Herd missed 19 straight shots and went 8:12 of game time without scoring a point.
Yet it had a chance to tie the game with five seconds to go.
But Tamron Manning's 3-pointer missed the mark, like so many other shots the Herd took against the Blazers in a 52-48 loss. It was the Herd's (12-16, 5-8 Conference USA) second straight home setback and guarantees Marshall will end the regular season below .500. That hasn't happened since the Herd finished the 2008-09 regular season at 15-16 before losing to Rice in their first game of the C-USA Tournament.
While Marshall's 3-for-26 night from 3-point range – the Herd missed all 13 of its first-half 3s – might be the most glaring statistic, Marshall Coach Tom Herrion said it wasn't the only one that did the Herd in.
"Layups, 3-point shots, that's 42 field goals that we missed," Herrion said. "And we missed every conceivable shot. We missed point-blank layups, we missed 3s, we missed mid-range shots, and we missed 11 free throws.
"Tonight was a glaring example of when the ball doesn't go in, you have to find a way," Herrion added.
Marshall shot 15 for 57 from the floor (26.3 percent) for the game and 15 for 26 from the free throw line (57.7 percent).
The worst came from the last 4:09 of the first half until the 15:57 mark of the second half. During that span, the Herd couldn't score a point and at one point, Marshall missed 19 consecutive shots. The Herd trailed 36-17 with 15:58 left.
But Elijah Pittman, whose hit a free throw at the beginning of that slump, ended it with Marshall's first 3-pointer of the game with 15:57 to go. The junior forward would hit two more to spark a massive Marshall rally. The Herd would spend most of the second half chipping away while the Blazers (13-14, 5-7 C-USA) stumbled.