Duplicating that end-of-season run isn't realistic yet, but as Herrion said Wednesday, this win was "a small step in the right direction."
"We played so cohesive," said Herrion, who improved to 51-34 at Marshall. "I've got great faith in my kids. They've shown great character. I've said this before ... I'm proud to be their coach and I'm proud to coach Marshall. Nothing bothers me more than knowing I let this fan base down. That pains me. As frustrated as everyone can be with our team and me as the coach ... that pains me.
"That's what drives me every day to get this team better and hopefully right the ship."
Against Tulsa, which has former Kansas great and NBA star Manning as a first-year head coach, Marshall went on a 17-point first-half run to build a 26-point lead. The Herd set season-highs for points in the first half (43) and biggest halftime lead ever in a C-USA game (23, besting the 17-point lead against UCF on Feb. 27, 2010).
MU (8-8) was plus-15 on the boards and held a 27-point scoring advantage outside the arc.
Still, it was the early aggressiveness that set the tone. Manning, at 6-foot-10, is taller than anyone on Tulsa's roster. Marshall took advantage of this and attacked the glass, and three of its first five baskets were layups or dunks after offensive rebounds.
"Us being focused, starting on Monday when we came into practice," Kane said. "I think we had a great two days of practice. Coaches gave us a great gameplan and we executed it. We just came out with energy. We wanted to win, we wanted to get our crowd back into it.
"I know we've been in a long drought of losing. Every guy on the team, the bench, the managers, we were all locked in today."
That'll have to continue if Marshall is to flirt with the expectations this team had before Kareem Canty lost his eligibility battle with the NCAA, before two forwards were hospitalized and missed time after colliding in practice, before Kane's injury and before walk-on Kelvin Amayo abruptly left the team this week.
"We were worrying about the wrong things," Kane said. "Guys worrying about scoring; guys worrying about playing time. Today I think we all played together, as one. I think if we do that we'll have a good chance at winning the next 15 games.
"So don't beat up my coach no more, man ... it's on us."
Contact sports editor Chuck McGill at chuck.mcg...@dailymail.com or 304-348-7949.