NEW ANGLE: Markel's Miracle Shot

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (AP) - Markel Humphrey made a 75-foot bank shot as time expired to lift Marshall to a 53-50 win over Southern Methodist on Wednesday night.

Humphrey scored nine points for the Thundering Herd (9-9, 2-2 Conference USA), who also got 12 points from reserve Chris Lutz -
the only Marshall player to score in double figures.

Lutz, who shot 4 of 10 from beyond the arc, made a 3-pointer with 3:49 left in the second half to give the Thundering Herd a 50-47 lead. The Mustangs (6-10, 1-3) tied the game at 50 on Mouhammad Faye's 3-pointer with 1:51 remaining.

Paul McCoy could have won the game for SMU with a jumper, but his shot missed and Humphrey got the rebound with 4 seconds left. He then hit the game-winner for Marshall.

Faye led SMU with 17 points and Derek Williams added 14.

Damier Pitts finished with eight assists for the Thundering Herd.

From Marshall University Sports Information:

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (MU SID)- Marshall University senior forward Markel Humphrey connected on a shot from 75-feet away with less than a second to play to lift the Thundering Herd to a dramatic 53-50 win over SMU in Conference USA men's basketball action Tuesday at the Cam Henderson Center.

Humphrey rebounded the ball off of a missed shot from SMU's Derek Williams, from under Marshall's own basket, with less than four seconds to play and the score tied 50-50. The senior then took several dribbles and fired the ball up from the right side of the three-point arc and watched as the high-arcing shot (estimated at 75 feet) banked off of the glass and in to the basket on the opposite side of the court to lift the Thundering Herd (9-9 overall, 2-2 C-USA) over the Mustangs (6-10 overall, 1-3 C-USA).

"I just threw it up," Humphrey said. "I got the rebound and saw that the clock was running out, I heard Damier (Pitts) yell and I took a couple dribbles and just threw it up. I saw the clock, and when it went in I knew it was good because I released it before the backboard turned red."

Humphrey finished the game with nine points and four rebounds.

"We played hard tonight. When you play hard, things like that happen," Humphrey added.

The game was tightly contested defensive battle throughout with six lead changes and both teams shooting less than 40% from the floor. The Thundering Herd led at the half 23-19 only to have the game knotted at the 10:02 mark of the second half at 38-38.

With 5:50 to play in the game SMU's Mouhammed Faye connected on a three-pointer to give the Mustangs their largest lead at 46-41, however just seconds later Marshall's Damier Pitts answered with a three of his own to cut it to two. Following a free throw shot from SMU's Bamba Fall, Pitts would strike with another three to tie the game at 47-47.

Chris Lutz added a Marshall three-pointer with 3:49 to go to push it to 50-47 only to have Faye strike with another three with 1:51 to go. Both teams would battle with missed opportunities in the closing seconds to set up the game winning shot by Humphrey.

Lutz led the Thundering Herd with 12 points on 4-of-10 shooting all from three-point range. Humphrey and Tyler Wilkerson added nine points apiece, while added six points and a game-high eight assists. Marshall limited SMU to only 26% shooting in the first half and 39.1% for the game.

"I'm really proud of these guys. Our energy, our momentum and the spirit of these guys has been terrific. We continue to practice well and this is just something that will usually happen as a result of your hard work." Marshall head coach Donnie Jones said. "It was a lucky shot obviously, but I'm really happy for Markel Humphrey. It couldn't happen to anyone better than him. He's worked hard and been through a lot of stuff here injury wise and he just continues to come out and fight, fight, fight."

The Mustangs were led by Faye's 17 points and Derek Williams' 14-point effort.

The Thundering Herd will return to action on Sunday at UCF. Tip-off is scheduled for 2 p.m. at UCF Arena in Orlando.

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