HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (AP) - Damier Pitts scored 25 and dished out
eight assists to lead Marshall to an 83-69 win over Central Florida
on Saturday night in both teams' regular-season finale.
Johnny Thomas finished with 14 points for the Thundering Herd
(21-10, 9-7 Conference USA), who ended the regular season winning
six of their last seven games. Tirrell Baines pitched in with 11
Marshall cruised in this contest, trailing only once against the
Knights (19-10, 6-10). The Thundering Herd went into halftime with
a 43-27 lead and later took their largest lead at 24 on Pitts'
Pitts went 7 of 11 from the floor and shot 10 of 11 from the
free-throw line. His superb shooting helped Marshall shoot 51.9
percent (28 of 54) from the field along with 22 of 27 free throws.
Marcus Jordan led UCF with 27 points on 7 of 16 shooting and
Keith Clanton had 17.
Marshall University's men's basketball team has secured the number six seed in the 2011 Buick Conference USA Men's Basketball Championship, March 9-12 at the Don Haskins Center in El Paso, Texas. The Thundering Herd (21-10, 9-7 C-USA) will play No. 11 Houston at 7:30 p.m. ET (5:30 p.m. Mountain).
Regular season champion UAB will be the No. 1 seed at the tournament. The Blazers, outright C-USA Champions for the first time, enter the conference tournament as the No.1 seed, owning an overall record of 22-7 (12-4 in C-USA) and a current winning streak of four games.
As the top seed, UAB will have a first-round bye at the tournament. Other teams receiving first-round byes include No. 2 Tulsa, No. 3 UTEP and No. 4 Memphis. Wednesday's first-round match-ups feature: No. 8 East Carolina vs. No. 9 UCF at 11 a.m., No. 5 Southern Miss vs. No. 12 Tulane at 1:30 p.m., No. 6 Marshall vs. No. 11 Houston at 5:30 p.m., and No. 7 SMU vs. No. 10 Rice at 8:30 p.m. MST.
In Thursday's quarterfinal round, top-seeded UAB will take on the winner of the East Carolina-UCF game at 11 a.m. and No. 4 Memphis will face the winner of the Southern Miss-Tulane match-up beginning at 2:30 p.m. No. 3 seed UTEP will battle either Marshall or Houston at 5:30 p.m., while Tulsa will close out Thursday night against the winner of the SMU-Rice contest at 8 p.m. All four quarterfinal games will be televised by CBS College Sports Network.
All games will be played at Don Haskins Center on the UTEP campus. In addition to the quarterfinal games, semifinal games will be shown on CBS College Sports Network at 2 and 4:30 (MST). CBS will broadcast the championship game on Saturday, beginning at 9:35 a.m. (MST).
2011 Buick Conference USA Men's Basketball Championship Don Haskins Center, El Paso, Texas
(All Times are EASTERN)
Wednesday, March 9
(8) East Carolina vs. (9) UCF 1:00 p
(5) Southern Miss vs. (12) Tulane 3:30p
(6) Marshall vs. (11) Houston 7:30p
(7) SMU vs. (10) Rice 10:00p
Thursday, March 10
(1) UAB vs. ECU/UCF (CBS College Sports) 1:00p
(4) Memphis vs. USM/TLN (CBS College Sports) 3:30p
(3) UTEP vs. MAR/HOU (CBS College Sports) 7:30p
(2) Tulsa vs. SMU/RICE (CBS College Sports) 10:00p
Friday, March 11
*Semifinal # 1 (CBS College Sports) 4:00p *Semifinal # 2 (CBS College Sports) 6:30p