Thundering Herd Fall Apart in Second Half in Loss to Memphis Tigers 87-67

Doug NicholsContributor IFebruary 25, 2012

DeAndre Kane tries to set up a play. Marshall lost to the Memphis Tigers 87-67 on Saturday.
DeAndre Kane tries to set up a play. Marshall lost to the Memphis Tigers 87-67 on Saturday.

Huntington, WV—In another tale of two halves, the Thundering Herd of Marshall University collapsed after the break, and the Memphis Tigers cruised to an 87-67 victory.

What started out as two teams going back and forth pounding the paint in the first half turned into an ugly loss as the Herd racked up a flagrant and three technical fouls.

Will Barton of Memphis scored 24 points on 9-for-18 shooting to go along with a career high 26 points against Marshall during their previous game this season on January 28th. 

Tarik Black was perfect from the field (8-for-8) on his way to 18 points—all but his two free throws coming by way of easy layups and dunks.

DeAndre Kane led the Herd with 16 points but struggled the entire game shooting—5-for-19 from the field, 2-for-6 from three-point land, and 4-for-11 from the free throw line.

Dennis Tinnon recorded the 15th double digit rebounding game of his career with ten rebounds to go with his 16 points—his third straight game with ten or more points. The double-double was the ninth of his career.

Tigers player Joe Jackson recorded a career high 13 made free throws as part of his 21 points—the seventh 20-point game of his career.

For the second straight meeting, the Memphis Tigers were able to negate Marshall's ability to rebound the ball. In the first matchup, Marshall struggled on the boards due to foul trouble from the likes of Dennis Tinnon, Robert Goff and DeAndre Kane, limiting the playing time of the team's best ball-getters.

This time around the Memphis Tigers limited the Herd's opportunities on the boards by shooting 60 percent from the field. Marshall finished with a +3 rebounding margin—down from their season average margin of +7.6.

Damier Pitts trying to get around the Memphis defense. The Herd lost Saturday to the Tigers 87-67.
Damier Pitts trying to get around the Memphis defense. The Herd lost Saturday to the Tigers 87-67.

Marshall was unable to keep up their good shooting after the break—51.7 percent on 15-for-29 shooting in the first half—going only 9-for-31 in the second half.

The highlight—or lowlight—of the game came early in the second half when DeAndre Kane fouled Memphis's Joe Jackson hard as the Tigers player drove on a fast break—assessed as a flagrant foul. Two other Memphis Tigers began to crowd Kane on the baseline and the two teams came together for an extended round of pushing and shoving.

Both Marshall head coach Tom Herrion and Memphis' Josh Pastner came out to try and separate the two squads. In what was the most bizarre moment of the fracas, a family member of a Memphis Tiger player—reportedly the father of Joe Jackson—came down from his seat in the visitor section and got into a brief altercation with a member of the Memphis staff.

From that point it appeared that Marshall was never the same mentally. They were never able to match the intensity that Memphis brought on both the defensive and offensive sides of the floor. Technical fouls were called on Herd players Kane (2) and Damier Pitts—mostly as a result of barking at the refs.

The Memphis Tigers dominated in the paint, scoring 52 of their 87 points within the painted area—in fact, all but two of the Tigers 87 points came from the lane, the three point line or the free throw line. The Tigers also used their speed and athleticism on the way to 18 fast-break points. 

Marshall falls to 17-11 on the season and 8-6 in Conference USA play. Memphis keeps a grip on their place atop the Conference USA standings. Their record is now 21-8 and 11-3 in conference.

Marshall finishes up the season on the road Wednesday against East Carolina University and Southern Mississippi at home Saturday.

Memphis looks to avenge their prior loss to Central Florida at home on Tuesday and finish up the regular season on the road against Tulsa on Saturday.