Marshall shot just 36.5 percent from the floor and made just 12 of 22 free throws. Meanwhile, WVU made 24 of 30 from the line.
The Mountaineers said their 1-3-1 defense flustered the Thundering Herd and allowed them to take and keep control of the game.
"I was getting a lot of advice from the bench that we needed to change defenses," WVU Coach Bob Huggins said. "It was just a chance to give them a different look. People get into rhythm and you've got to try to get them out of rhythm."
The Thundering Herd began the game with a hot hand it hadn't seen in the two previous games. Marshall hit three of its first four shots and took a 12-5 lead. The Mountaineers began to inch back into the game, then blew past the Herd in the final 4 minutes.
WVU's defense began to frustrate Marshall as the turnovers piled up. West Virginia finished the first half on a 12-1 run.
The only thing that went wrong for the Mountaineers in that span was Keaton Miles' dunk as time ran out came just a fraction of a second after the buzzer, and WVU took a 31-25 lead into halftime.
Marshall's offensive ability to start the game disappeared by halftime. After starting 3-of-4, the Herd hit just six of its next 19 shots and went the final 5:01 of the first half without scoring a basket.
"We got shook," Herrion said. "We knew they were going to pressure us. We turned it over every which way possible."
Marshall cut the lead to 31-30 on Pittman's 3-pointer with 17:40 left in the game, but the Herd suffered another drought, going from the 13:14 mark to the 7:14 mark without hitting a shot from the floor.
D.D. Scarver led Marshall with 17 points, while Pittman added 16 and DeAndre Kane, named Marshall's player of the game, scored 13 w
ith a game-high seven assists. Staten added 12 points for WVU and Murray pulled down a game-high 10 rebounds and scored seven points.
The Mountaineers begin a tough streak in their schedule Saturday when they host Virginia Tech, visit Duquesne on Dec. 11, then play No. 3 Michigan in Brooklyn, N.Y. on Dec. 15.
The Herd hosts Coppin State on Saturday, before returning to the Civic Center to play Cincinnati on Dec. 15.
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.