Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

January 1, 2013

Herd looks to bounce back

By GARY FAUBER for the Daily Telegraph
Bluefield Daily Telegraph

— Happy New Year. Now, back to basketball.

Marshall will return to action for the first time in 11 days when it hosts Delaware State at 7 p.m. today.

The Herd (7-6) hasn’t played since an 82-54 loss at Kentucky Dec. 22. A Rupp Arena crowd of 24,271 — the largest ever to witness a Marshall game — saw the Herd unable to challenge the reigning national champion.

“Been a while since we’ve been beat by 28,” Marshall coach Tom Herrion said. “Obviously a lousy way for us to go into the break but we will come out of it and bounce back.”

Herrion again was unhappy with his team’s offensive performance. Marshall was just 18 of 61 (29.5 percent) from the floor, including 4 of 15 (26.7 percent) from 3-point range.

The Wildcats outrebounded Marshall 48-43 and had 31 defensive boards to Marshall’s 16 on the offensive glass.

“Our offensive inefficiency is just destroying us because it is putting so much pressure on our defense each time down,” Herrion said.

Guard D.D. Scarver is Marshall’s leading scorer with 15.0 points per game. Elijah Pittman is at 14.8 ppg and Dennis Tinnon at 11.1 to go with 8.9 rebounds.

Nigel Spikes averages 6.8 ppg and a team-high 9.2 boards.

The Hornets bring a 5-8 record into the game. They lost 79-50 to Maryland last Saturday.

Guard Tahj Tate is Delaware State’s leading scorer at 15.7 ppg. He also has 33 assists in 13 games.

The leading rebounder is forward Marques Oliver, averaging 5.5 a night. He has also blocked 22 shots — a distant second on the team. Kendall Gray, a 6-foot-10 center, has 38 rejections.

After tonight, the Herd will visit Ohio at 2 p.m. Saturday before starting Conference USA play next Wednesday, Jan. 9, at home versus Tulsa.

— E-mail: gfauber@register-herald.com