HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. – An 18-0 run helped the Marshall men’s basketball team overcome a six-point deficit in the second half to defeat the University of the District of Columbia 80-58 Friday at the Mack Sports Complex.
The Thundering Herd (2-1) will face South Dakota State (1-1) on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. for its second game in the 2K Sports Classic benefiting Wounded Warrior Project, Hempstead Subreagional.
Marshall trailed 48-42 with 15:49 remaining, its largest deficit of the game, before outscoring the Firebirds 38-10 to end the game including 18 unanswered points over a span of nearly six minutes.
“In the second half we came out with a lot more energy,” said head coach Tom Herrion. “We shared the ball really well. We still missed some easy scoring opportunities. We have a long way to go. We aren’t playing very well. In the second half our guys responded and I was pleased with that.”
Senior forward Dennis Tinnon, coming off the bench for the first time in his career, scored a game-high 17 points and 12 rebounds. It was his first double-double of the season and the 13th of his career.
Senior center Nigel Spikes joined Tinnon with game-high rebounding honors, grabbing 12 to go with eight points on 4-of-5 shooting from the field. He also stood out defensively, with four blocked shots, tying a career high.
Marshall dominated the glass, outrebounding UDC 51-26. The Herd had 18 offensive rebounds, which it converted into 25 second-chance points.
UDC (1-2) began the game with a 23-19 lead until Marshall went on a 13-5 run over the next four minutes to go ahead 32-28 at the 3:28 mark. The Firebirds then closed the half on a 9-4 run to lead 37-36 at halftime. Their lead was paced by a 5-of-8 performance from beyond the arc.
“Our offense wasn’t our problem tonight, it was the defense. They (UDC) stunned us early. They hit five three’s early in the game, 15 of their first 19 points came from the three-point line.”
The Firebirds cooled down considerably from three-point range. UDC finished the game 5-for-16 (31.3 percent) including 0-of-8 in the second half. Marshall struggled all game from there, finishing 3-of-15 for 20 percent.
Marshall’s second half run came at the most opportune time, with it down 48-42 with 15:49 to play. The Herd received a layup from junior D.D. Scarver, a dunk by junior DeAndre Kane and a dunk by Tinnon all within 40 seconds to tie the game 48-48. UDC retook the lead on its next possession, 50-48 (14:58), but that was the last lead of the game for the NCAA Division II team from the nation’s capital.
Kane finished with 16 points, nine assists and five rebounds. Junior Elijah Pittman, who made his first start of his career, scored a season-best 14 points on 5-of-5 shooting from the field including one three-pointer.
The Herd shot 48.5 percent from the field, 53.1 percent in the second half when it outscored the Firebirds 44-21. UDC was held to 25 percent shooting in the second half and finished at 36.2 percent for the game.
The Firebirds were led by Quasim Jones who finished with 12 points, six assists and four rebounds.
The field has been set for the 2013 Indianapolis 500. Ed Carpenter won the pole and will be joined by rookie Carlos Munoz and Marco Andretti on the front row. Row three features defending IndyCar champ Ryna Hunter-Reay, Helio Castroneves and James Hinchcliffe. (NBC Sports)