TULSA, Okla. – No. 8 seed Tulane banked in a three-pointer from the top of the key with 6.9 seconds left to spoil a game that No. 9 seed Marshall controlled, up 13 midway through the second half, in a season ending 66-64 loss in the first round of the Conference USA Championships Wednesday at the BOK Center in Tulsa, Okla.
A last-second three-point attempt from Elijah Pittman missed wide as the Thundering Herd ended the season with a 13-19 record.
"Obviously it was a frustrating end to a season," head coach Tom Herrion remarked after the game. "A dagger through our heart here at the end. Three-ball ended up killing us in the second half and we didn't guard it well enough. We did a great job in the first half, but not in the second and then they bank one in to win it."
The Green Wave improved to 19-14 and moved on to the second round to take on top-seeded Memphis at 7 p.m. ET Thursday on CBS Sports Network.
DeAndre Kane led Marshall with 22 points, going 7-of-10 from the field, 2-of-3 in three-pointers and making 6-of-9 free throws. Dennis Tinnon finished his collegiate career with one final double-double, giving him 22 in his two years. He totaled 16 points, going 8-of-9 from the field, and had 11 rebounds. Pittman was next with 12 points, while Nigel Spikes anchored the effort on the boards with nine rebounds and accounted for three of the game's four total blocks.
The Herd finished 24-of-51 from the field for a 47.1 percent mark, but struggled behind the three-point line, going 3-of-16 (18.8 %). Tulane on the other hand had eight made three-pointers, seven of which came in the second half.
Tulane's Ricky Tarrant combined for a team-leading 21 points, accounting for five of Tulane's eight three-pointers. Josh Davis finished with a double-double, earning 18 points and a team-high 12 rebounds. He went 8-for-13 from the free throw stripe.
Power in the post helped Marshall control the tempo of the game for a majority of the contest. The Herd recorded 40 of its 64 points in the paint, compared to Tulane's 24. The post performance allowed Marshall a 29-20 lead at halftime and showcased a 52.2 shooting percentage in the opening 20 minutes.
Marshall held that lead for close to 30 minutes of the game and went up by as much as 13 with 12:15 left, but an eight-point run with nine minutes left in the contest sparked the Tulane comeback that featured 30 points by the Green Wave in the last 10 minutes.
"They've got really great shooters," Herrion said on Tulane's offense in the second half. "I think we were surprised at times by how deep they were shooting it especially down the stretch. We had our hands down and we weren't playing aggressive enough contesting the shot."
Trading the lead back and forth eight times in the final seven minutes of the game, Tulane's Kendall Timmons finally heaved a shot from the top of the key and banked it in to put the Green Wave up 66-63 with 6.9 seconds left. Kane then drew a flagrant foul and made one of his two free throws. Given the ball back with one final opportunity, Kane drove the ball in and dished it to Pittman, but the three-point attempt glanced off the glass and fell short, giving the Herd the 66-64 loss in the final game of the season.
"I had an option to get the layup, but the defender caught me off a little bit on my way to the basket," Kane said. "I saw Elijah (Pittman) open and he's a great shooter, he's been knocking down shots all year, so I got him the ball. He got a good look at it, it just didn't sink."