The Marshall men's basketball team couldn't maintain its good fortune on the road, following Thursday's first road win of the season at Rice with a 98-77 loss Saturday night at Louisiana Tech.
Marshall (7-14, 1-5 Conference USA) is 2-20 in its last 22 road games. The Thundering Herd had lost 10 straight on the road before besting the Owls, 73-63, on Thursday, but succumbed to an avalanche of first-half turnovers Saturday versus the Bulldogs.
"We talked about it, obviously, since after the Rice game," Marshall coach Tom Herrion said on the postgame radio broadcast. "We knew what was coming, but we didn't do a good job. We gave it to them on a platter the first five minutes of the game."
Marshall scored the first basket of the game on a Ryan Taylor layup. Louisiana Tech (17-4, 5-1 C-USA) proceeded to score the next 17 points. The Bulldogs, behind a 7-for-7 shooting streak from the floor, opened a 17-2 lead over the Herd.
Yet Marshall weathered that flurry and answered with one of its own, as LTU made just two of its next 10 shots after starting perfectly. The Herd pulled to within three points when another Taylor layup off a Kareem Canty assist made the score 21-18 with 12:35 left in the half. The Bulldogs would rebound, though, as Marshall's turnover problems went from bad to worse.
LTU's full-court press gave the Herd fits, helping to force 17 first-half Marshall turnovers. The Bulldogs sprinted away yet again, leading by as many as 20 in the first half and going into halftime with a 57-39 lead. Marshall had its chances at the half's end to cut into that lead, but suffered a pair of fruitless late possessions.
Canty badly missed a layup with 10 seconds to go and Cheikh Sane was whistled for a foul while scrambling for the rebound. Kenneth Smith hit a pair of free throws, then Jaron Johnson swiped a steal to end the half.
The Bulldogs led by as many as 25 when Smith scored on a layup with 16:20 left made it 68-43. The Herd committed 22 turnovers for the game.
Taylor led Marshall with his sixth double-double, scoring 17 points and pulling down 11 rebounds. Canty scored 16, but made just six of 20 shots and missed all seven of his 3-point attempts. Chris Thomas scored 13 points with seven rebounds.
Alex Hamilton led LTU with 24 points off the bench, while Kenyon McNeail scored 22 and Smith scored 17 with 13 assists and six steals.
Marshall returns to the Cam Henderson Center this week to host C-USA's Florida contingent. Florida International visits Thursday at 7 p.m., and Florida Atlantic visits Saturday at noon (Comcast Sports South).