• 55°

Herd edges UAB; to face Memphis

MEMPHIS, TN — It was more like track season than the Conference USA tournament for Markel Humphrey.

The Marshall forward sprinted for the winning layup in the closing seconds as the Thundering Herd nipped the Alabama-Birmingham Blazers 53-52 Wednesday in the opening round of the C-USA tournament.

Paul Delaney III made a layup with 29 seconds left to give UAB a 52-51 lead. But

a Chris Ross pass to Humphrey led to a layup with 24 seconds to go as Marshall regained the lead for good.

“I was sprinting down the court and (Delaney) got the layup. We got the ball out real fast. I just sprinted back down the court as fast as I could. I didn’t think I would be that open. I just went down the floor as fast as I could and I got the basket,” Humphrey said.

Mike Davis Jr. missed a jumper and Mark Dorris rebounded for the Herd and was fouled.

Dorris missed a free throw and Frank Holmes got the rebound for UAB with five seconds on the clock. After a time out, Delaney missed a jumper with one second left to end the game.

“It’s great momentum for the team when he gets out there and contributes. He plays as hard as he can. He’s a good character guy and he never takes a possession off or anything like that,” Dorris said.

Dorris led the Herd with 15 points while Humphrey had 12 points and 8 rebounds.

Lawrence Kinnard had 17 points and Delaney 10 for UAB (15-16).

Marshall led 38-24 at the half and never trailed the rest of the game until Delaney’s basket.

Marshall (13-18) will now play top-seeded and No. 6-ranked Memphis at 6 p.m. Thursday. Memphis, the regular season champion, had a first round bye.

“There are a lot of things and a lot of people that concern me about Memphis,” Marshall coach Ron Jirsa said. “It has been a long time since we played them, December 4. They are very athletic. They are really quick.

“Obviously, us playing tonight, and then going against them at their place a day later, we have to use our energy in the correct way. We have to get our rest. They can just really score.”

The win was Marshall’s first postseason victory since a 78-59 win over Eastern Michigan in the Mid-American Conference tournament in 2004.

Marshall 53, Alabama-Birmingham 52

UAB

(15-16)

Frank Holmes 2-4 0-1 4, Lawrence Kinnard 7-11 2-2 17, Wen Mukubu 3-11 1-2 9, Maurice Gibbs 0-2 0-1 0, Paul Delaney III 3-9 4-4 10, Mike Davis Jr. 1-42-2 4, Taurus Dortch 1-3 0-0 2, Jeremy Mayfield 3-7 0-2 6. Totals: 20-51

9-14

52. 3-point goals: 3-16 (Kinnard 1-3, Mukubu 2-5, Gibbs 0-2, Delaney 0-3, Davis 0-1, Dortch 0-2). Fouls: 16. Fouled out: None. Rebounds: 8-22=30 (Kinnard 9). Assists: 12 (Delaney 6). Steals: 8 (Kinnard 3, Mukubu 3). Turnovers: 13. Blocked shots: 1 (Kinnard).

MARSHALL

(13-18)

Markel Humphrey 5-14 1-1 12, Jean Bro Grebe 0-1 0-0 0, Chris Ross 0-2 2-4 2, Tavis Aikens 4-9 1-3 9, Mark Dorris 5-12 4-5 15, Darryl Merthie 1-1 0-0 2, Tre Whitted 2-5 1-2 6, Robbie Jackson 0-0 0-0 0, Taurean Marshall 0-0 0-0 0, Tyler Wilkerson 1-1 1-1 3, Jesse Oglesby 2-2 0-0 4. Totals: 20-47

10-16

53. 3-point goals: 3-15 (Humphrey 1-4, Ross 0-1, Aikens 0-3 , Dorris 1-5, Whitted 1-2). Fouls: 14. Fouled out: None. Rebounds: 7-26=33 (Humphrey 8, Aikens 6, Dorris 5). Assists: 9 (Ross 7). Steals: 7 (Ross 2, Wilkerson 2). Turnovers: 17. Blocked shots: 1 (Wilkerson).

Halftime: Marshall 38, UAB 24.