Men's Basketball

@HerdMBB to Begin Conference Play at FIU

Dec. 30, 2016

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The Marshall Thundering Herd will begin its conference schedule when it takes on the FIU Panthers on Saturday, Dec. 31, at 1 p.m.

In addition to coverage from @HerdMBB on Twitter and Instagram, the game can be found on the Thundering Herd IMG Sports Network with Steve Cotton on the call. Live stats will be available through .

Marshall's almost overcame a 29-point deficit, but fell at Pittsburgh, 112-106. Marshall has scored at least 70 points in its 33rd consecutive games. C.J. Burks' 25 points surpassed his previous career-high of 20 points at Ohio (Dec. 1, 2015). Burks has yet to miss a free throw this season, having gone 10-of-10 from the charity stripe this season. Ryan Taylor collected his 30th career double-double from a season-high 22 points and 11 rebounds. Jon Elmore scored double figure points in all 13th consecutive games. It marked the fifth time Elmore has made at least 10 free throws in a game this season. Stevie Browning scored at least 20 points his in fifth straight game for the first time in his career. The 68-point second half marked the first time Marshall has scored at least 60 in a half since scoring 61 vs. Southern Miss (March 5).

FIU boasts one of the most accurate shooting teams in Conference USA. Through 13 games this season, the Panthers have hit for better than 50 percent from the field in five of the 13 outings, and just missed 50 percent in a sixth game. The Panthers are also one of the top free throw shooting teams in the nation. The Panthers come into the game having shot over 81 percent from the free-throw line in four of their 13 games, and 75 percent in one other contest. FIU is shooting 72.3 percent (159-of-220) from the line on the year .That is good enough for fifth in Conference USA (through Dec. 29). FIU has had a clear advantage in rebounding in 10 of its 13 games this season, holding a rebounding margin of +6.5. The Panthers were predicted to finish 11th overall in Conference USA, which was voted on by the conference's coaches.

Alabama transfer Michael Kessens has dominated the glass for FIU this season. He has either led or shared team-high rebounding honors in 10 of the team's 13 games this season and has recorded double figure rebounds in six outings this season. He leads Conference USA in rebounding with 10.3 boards per game. Besides being dominant on the glass, he has been a consistent scoring option for the Panthers. His 13.3 ppg is good for No. 19 in C-USA, while it is No. 2 on his team. Kessens' six double-doubles are tied for first in C-USA. Donte McGill's 19.3 ppg leads the team in scoring and is No. 3 in C-USA. He has produced seven 20-point outings, which is tied for first in the conference.

Marshall will meet FIU for the sixth contest between the two sides. It is a relatively new series, with the two sides meeting for the first time in 2010. Marshall leads the all-time series 4-1.

For all the latest information about Marshall men's basketball, follow @HerdMBB on Twitter and Instagram.

The Herd closes out its road trip in Florida when it takes on the Florida Atlantic Owls on Tuesday, Jan. 3, at 7 p.m.

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