Herd Men Head to Houston for Lone Star Showdown against Cougars
Published: Thursday, February 28, 2013
Updated: Thursday, February 28, 2013 23:02
With three games left in the season, the Thundering Herd men’s basketball team will head to Houston, Saturday, to face the University of Houston Cougars in a Conference USA matchup.
Marshall, which stands at 12-16 overall, will try to get back on the winning track against a Houston team that is 15-11 overall, but 4-7 in conference play.
The Cougars have an 11-4 record at home this season, while Marshall has only one road win this season.
Marshall Head Coach Tom Herrion said playing a team that is good at home will present a challenge.
“It’s a big challenge against a really good team,” Herrion said. “They obviously play big and want to be strong in their own building, and they have a lot of weapons on their side.”
Senior forward Dennis Tinnon said he hopes the team will come out strong early.
“We’re looking to come out really aggressive and start on top for once,” Tinnon said. “We need to try to not bury ourselves in a hole early and try to dig ourselves back out. We have a tendency to do that, so we want to come out and throw the first punch.”
The Herd had a respite this week, having the typical Wednesday game off.
Sophomore guard Chris Martin said having a game off helped to recharge the team’s batteries.
“It’s getting towards the end of the season and our bodies are breaking down a little bit,” Martin said. “Whenever we have time off, that definitely helps us out.”
Martin said practice time over game time is helping the group to settle down together as a unit.
“We are spending more time in the gym as a team, and at this point that helps with our team chemistry,” Martin said. “At this point of the season, I don’t think it’s about X’s and O’s as much as it is about mental toughness for the rest of the year.”
Marshall is led in scoring by Elijah Pittman, who averages 15.7 points per game, including 18 in last Saturday’s loss to UAB in Huntington. Sophomore Joseph Young, who puts up 17.8 points per game, leads the Cougars.
Houston’s 4-7 conference record includes three straight losses. The Cougars have also lost four of their last five games. Marshall has fared only slightly better over that stretch, losing three out of its last five.
After the Houston contest, Marshall will have two games to play, with one home game and one road game remaining. The home game will be against Southern Miss. next Tuesday, and the Herd will finish out the season on the road at East Carolina next Saturday.Saturday’s tip off is set for 2 p.m. at the Hofheinz Pavilion in Houston.
Kyle Gibson can be contacted at email@example.com