CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Marshall shot 66.7 percent from the three-point range, but could not withstand a second-half run by No. 11 Cincinnati in a 72-56 loss to the Bearcats Saturday at the Civic Center in Charleston.
The Thundering Herd (6-5) nailed five of its first five three-pointers and finished 8-of-12. The 66.7 percent mark is tied for the second-best in school history. Junior guard D.D. Scarver was 5-of-7 from three and finished with 20 points.
Junior forward Elijiah Pittman tied Scarver for game-high honors with 20 points on 6-of-9 shooting, 2-of-4 from three-point range. Both players have made a three-pointer in every game of their careers.
Despite the high number of made threes, Marshall shot just 39.5 percent (17-of-43) from the field. Cincinnati (10-0) attempted 21 more shots than the Herd, going 29-of-64 from the field for 45.3 percent.
"We were inept offensively," said Marshall head coach Tom Herrion. "We were not able to get into any flow or rhythm offensively. Twenty turnovers are going to cause a problem any night."
The Herd's 20 turnovers converted into 20 UC points.
"I think they showed, in stretches, why they are a top 10 team," Herrion said of the Bearcats.
Both teams entered the game ranked among the best in the country in rebounding. Cincinnati won the battle of the boards 40-31 and had 17 offensive rebounds which converted to 19 points. UC also dominated the scoring down low, a 40-16 advantage in the paint.
Freshman Tamron Manning handled the point guard position primarily all game for the first time in his career. His three-pointer in the first half was his first career points and his only points of the game. His 30 minutes played was not only a career best, but was more than his total minutes played on the season (23) entering the game.
"We have some young guys that have to adjust to playing a different roll," Herrion said. "When you throw them to the wolves a little bit, they'll gain great experience. We've got a lot of young guys playing against fourth and fifth-year seniors on the Cincinnati team."
Marshall's only lead of the game came after a Pittman three to open the game. However, the Herd never trailed by more than seven points in the first half. UC led 29-25 at halftime.
Marshall trailed 39-35 with 14:54 remaining in the game until UC scored seven unanswered points to take its first double-digit lead of the game as Cashmere Wright sank the first of three-consecutive three-pointers.
The Herd trailed by 15 points later in the half, but cut the deficit to 10, 63-53 with 5:57 to play after a Pittman three-pointer. Marshall scored just three points the rest of the way as UC shot 51.5 percent from the field in the second half.
Wright led Cincinnati with 14 points including a 4-of-7 effort from three-point range. Sean Kilpatrick scored 13 points and Justin Jackson scored 10 to join Wright in double figures.
Marshall will next be in action Wednesday as it hosts Savannah State at 7 p.m. at the Cam Henderson Center.