Ryan Taylor will look to be a force for the Herd on both ends of the floor

Men's Basketball

Herd to Host League Newcomer, North Texas

Jan. 15, 2014

GAME 18: NORTH TEXAS (9-7, 0-2 C-USA) at MARSHALL (6-11, 0-2 C-USA)
Thursday, Jan. 16 - 7 p.m. ET
Huntington, W.Va. | Cam Henderson (9,043)
Television: Time Warner Cable
| Live Radio | Twitter

Game Notes

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Returning home to the Cam Henderson Center after a two-game Texas trip, the Marshall men's basketball team (6-11, 0-2 C-USA) will host North Texas (9-7, 0-2 C-USA) to continue Conference USA play on Thursday at 7 p.m. with the contest to be televised live on Time Warner Cable in Texas, Ohio and parts of northern Kentucky.

General admission tickets are still remain and may be purchased by going to HerdZone.com or by calling 800-THE-HERD.

In-game Twitter updates @HerdMBB, results and a recap from the night's action will be available at HerdZone.com.

Heading into the half in a 27-27 tie at UTEP on Saturday night, a 21-4 run by the Miners to open the second half was too much for the Thundering Herd to overcome on the road in front of a crowd of 7,551 as Marshall fell 66-56.

The Herd made a late run to cut the deficit to 60-55 with 1:37 to play, but the score would get no closer. Freshman forward Ryan Taylor (Indianapolis) and sophomore guard Chris Thomas (Denver) led the Marshall comeback as the duo had 18 and 13 points, respectively.

The Marshall defense was successful in forcing 15 UTEP turnovers, turning them into 18 points. Efficiency from the field was key for UTEP in being victorious as the Miners went 22-for-47 (46.8 percent) to 19-of-61 for Marshall (31.1 percent).

The Herd is 6-2 this season in the friendly confines of Cam Henderson Center and 44-13 at home under coach Tom Herrion. With added support from its kelly green-clad fans, Marshall is 356-112 at the Henderson Center over 33 seasons, a .760 winning percentage.

The first 250 fans to enter the Henderson Center gates on Thursday evening will receive a Marshall souvenir cup that can be used for one free popcorn or soda. Also, any general admission tickets purchased for Thursday's game against North Texas or Saturday's contest vs. Tulsa will allow fans to get into both games.

On the bus from Charleston, W.Va. to Huntington while returning from Texas on Sunday afternoon, coach Tom Herrion announced to the team that he was awarding freshman guard Austin Loop (South Webster, Ohio) a scholarship. Loop has appeared in 11 games on the season, all off the bench, and is averaging 3.5 points and 6.0 minutes. Loop has found off-the-court success as well, as he has posted a 3.5 grade point average, which is a team high.

With the starting five having been adjusted by coach Herrion as a result of bumps and bruises to members of the Herd, it seems that Herrion and his staff have settled on a lineup. For the last seven games, the starting five has been freshman guard Kareem Canty (Harlem, N.Y.), sophomore swingman TyQuane Goard (Charleston, W.Va.), sophomore guard DeVince Boykins (Forest City, N.C.), Taylor and Thomas. The group has posted a 2-5 record when starting together and is now the most used starting lineup to this point by Herrion.

Marshall has yet to win a game this season in which it failed to reach the 70-point plateau. The Herd is 2-8 when scoring 79 or less points and 4-3 when scoring above 80. Having a 6-4 record when keeping opponents below 79 points of offense, Marshall is 0-7 when allowing the opposition to score more than 80 points.

Free throws have been a point of emphasis for the Herd this season as Marshall is 4-2 when converting more attempts from the charity stripe than opponents and 2-9 when making fewer free throws than the opposition. The Herd is shooting 60.0 percent from the line this season (298-of-497). Marshall's 199 missed free throw attempts rank first in NCAA Division I men's basketball.

With numerous scoring threats in the Marshall lineup, four members of the Herd are averaging double figures in scoring, three of which have become a mainstay in the Herd's starting lineup: Canty with 16.4, Taylor with 13.5 and Thomas with 11.6. Smith is knocking on the double-digit doorstep as he is averaging 9.4 points off the bench.

The Herd has received scoring help from more than its top four scorers as Marshall has had three or more of its own score in double figures in 15 of 17 games this season. Unfortunately, it has not always been enough as the Herd is 5-10 this season when three or more of its own score in double figures and 1-1 when two or less reach 10 points.

The benefit of having a true point guard has helped the Herd greatly this year and Canty has been the primary reason for that. An average of 6.5 assists per game has the freshman tied for ninth in the country, while he is the top assist man in C-USA. Canty has recorded three double-doubles on the season, all coming from a combination of points and assists.

Canty has led or tied for the lead in assists for the Herd in all 17 games this season.

In its first season as a C-USA member, North Texas has dropped its first two league games last week. The Mean Green fell at home to Southern Miss, 74-64, and Tulane, 73-62. Before conference play began, North Texas was on a four-game winning streak that closed with a 20-point road win at Texas A&M.

Senior guard Alzee Williams leads North Texas in scoring with 13 points per game, followed by junior guard Jordan Williams who contributes 11.3 points per game along with 6.0 rebounds. The two are the lone members of the Mean Green averaging double-digits in points.

The two programs have met once, at a neutral site in Indianapolis, on Dec. 28, 1990 with the Herd winning, 81-78 in the Hoosier Classic.

Marshall will conclude its brief two-game homestand with a noon tip against Tulsa at the Cam. The contest will be televised nationally by CBS Sports Network.


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