HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Senior forward Dennis Tinnon grabbed a season high 17 rebounds, but poor shooting proved to be the difference as SMU defeated the Thundering Herd 68-57 Wednesday in the Cam Henderson Center.
Marshall suffered its third straight loss and fell to 9-12 (2-4 Conference USA). SMU snapped a three-game losing skid and improved to 12-10 (2-5 C-USA).
"It's a terribly disappointing loss to say the least," said Marshall coach Tom Herrion. "What is most frustrating and upsetting, is our failure to gain an understanding of who we are. We struggle to defend and rebound consistently every night. We seem to have lost our identity."
Juniors Elijah Pittman and D.D. Scarver led Marshall with 15 points apiece, but it was not enough for the unbiased SMU offense which saw 15 or more points come from three players. Jalen Jones scored 19 to lead all scorers while Ryan Manuel and Nick Russell scored 17 and 15, respectively.
Junior guard DeAndre Kane finished with 13 points, five assists, and two steals.
Marshall's first basket of the game came on a Scarver three-pointer, giving MU its 700th consecutive game with a made three-point basket. It was also Scarver's 21st consecutive game registering a three-point basket.
Marshall shot 33.9% (20-of-59) from the floor compared to SMU's 48.1% (25-52).
The Herd attempted 28 three-point shots, mostly dictated by SMU's zone pressure. Marshall was 6-of-16 in the first half but just 1-of-12 in the second.
In the first half, the Herd was just 8-of-27 from the field but trailed by only two points, 21-19, with 5:29 to play. From there, the Mustangs used a 14-4 run to go into the break with a 35-23 lead.
During the middle of the second half, Marshall went on a 13-6 run over a four-minute span to claw into a 45-33 deficit. Pittman scored three baskets during that stretch and knocked down a three-pointer that was followed closely by a Kane transition basket that brought the game to within five.
Marshall never got closer than that.
SMU received points from seven players in the second half, led by Nick Russell who scored eight.
Tinnon grabbed 10 of his 17 rebounds in the second half, including six on the offensive glass. The Herd brought down 15 offensive rebounds, but only scored nine second chance points.
Marshall will be at home against UCF (15-5, 2-4) this Saturday, Feb. 2 at 2 p.m. The game will be televised on CSS.