HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - A change of venue did nothing to help the Marshall men's basketball team against foes from the Lone Star State.
The Thundering Herd fell behind by double digits early and couldn't recover, falling to the University of North Texas, 80-65, at the Cam Henderson Center. It is the Herd's 10th loss in its last 12 games.
Marshall (6-12, 0-3 Conference USA) played, and lost to, its third consecutive Texas opponent Thursday, the first two coming in the road. The Herd lost at the University of Texas at San Antonio last Thursday and to the University of Texas at El Paso on Saturday.
The Herd gets one more chance at a Texas team next Thursday. After hosting Tulsa on Saturday (noon, CBS Sports Network), Marshall travels to Houston to face Rice.
"I was disappointed in our lack of toughness," Herd coach Tom Herrion said. "I didn't think we played tough enough to win the game tonight. That bothers me more than anything."
Freshmen Ryan Taylor and Kareem Canty accounted for almost 74 percent of Marshall's points on Thursday night.
Canty scored a game-high 26, while Taylor scored 22 with a game-high 14 rebounds.
The Herd pulled to as close as eight points a few times near the end of the game, the last time coming on Canty's layup with 2:44 left. But TyQuane Goard dragged UNT's Colin Voss to the floor on a layup attempt and was whistled for an intentional foul. Voss made one of two free throws and the Mean Green (10-7, 1-2 C-USA) kept the ball, with Jordan Williams laying the ball in to set the lead back to double digits.
The Mean Green stunned the Herd with its speed at the game's start, stepping into passing lanes for steals that turned into layups. The players knew that was the Mean Green's game, Taylor said, but it took actually experiencing that speed to understand how potent it was.
"We watched film this week and the film was just about all transition, even on makes and misses and turnovers," Taylor said. "At first, I guess we didn't think they'd get it out of the net that fast on a made shot. But they did, and we weren't able to get back in transition and set up our defense."