Thundering Herd rallies to beat ETSU in OT, 84-83

Published 12:00 am Thursday, November 29, 2007

HUNTINGTON, W.Va.— A return to the past could be a step toward the future.

Marshall, a former member of the Southern Conference, hosted the East Tennessee State Buccaneers Tuesday and it didn’t take long for the old rivalry to rekindle.

Trailing by as many as 12 points, Marshall rallied to tie the game and then won 84-83 in overtime at the Cam Henderson Center.

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“What a great game. It’s like the old games of the Southern Conference rivalry. It was a great atmosphere tonight,” said Herd first-year head coach Donnie Jones.

And with the thrilling come-from-behind win came thoughts of bigger goals.

“The difference between an NCAA team and one that does not make the tournament is a very small margin of error,” said Jones.

“The reason why you have success is that you learn to play for 40 minutes, and you play and you scrap and you get loose ball, make plays, make free throws and do all the little things it takes to win.”

Making a big play for the Herd was Darryl Merthie who hit a layup with five seconds left to tie the game at 77-77.

“The play was for (Humphrey). My man overplayed me and I just went by him and I had a wide-open lane and I went for a finger role and it went in,” said Merthie.

ETSU’s Dequan Twilly missed a 3-pointer with one second left and the game headed for overtime.

Mark Dorris made two foul shots with 1:11 left in overtime to put Marshall up 82-81. Kevin Tiggs had two fouls shots with 54 seconds left that gave the Bucs an 83-82 lead.

But 10 seconds later, Markel Humphrey hit a jumper off a pass from Merthie that gave the Herd its 84-83 lead.

Twilley missed a layup only to have the Herd

turn the ball over with three seconds left. The Bucs last hope for a win diminished as Courtney Pigram missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer.

“It looked good to me. I know I didn’t make one all game, but I thought it was pretty good. Unfortunately it fell short,” said Pigram.

East Tennessee State coach Murry Bartow was obviously disappointed with the tough loss that saw his team lead the entire first half including 40-28 with 4:06 on the clock.

“I thought we did a lot of things well, we just didn’t do enough good things to win,” said Bartow. “We had way too many turnovers and they were phenomenal on the offensive glass and that really hurt us.

“Obviously the free throw difference had an effect on the game. Obviously we’re fouling too much.”

Marshall was 25 of 39 from the line and had 20 offensive rebounds to 10 for the Bucs. East Tennessee State was only 14 of 19 at the line.

Tyler Wilkerson led the Herd with 22 points and seven rebounds. Dorris had 17 points, Humphrey 15 and Tirrell Baines 14.

Merthie, who was declared eligible to play before the game, was only 1 of 11 from the 3-point range but did had 10 assists.

“I didn’t know yesterday. I found out during the shoot around when coach Jones pulled me aside. I had a big smile on my face. I couldn’t stop smiling,” said Merthie.

Tiggs finished with a game-high 26 points and eight rebounds for the Bucs (1-2). Four others were in double figures as Pigram and Mike Smith had 13 each, Kenyona Swader 12 and Andrew Reed 10.

Marshall hosts Boston University at 2 p.m. Sunday.

Marshall 84, E. Tenn. State 83, OT



Andrew Reed 4-5 2-2 10, Kevin Tiggs 10-14 6-6 26, Courtney Pigram 6-17 1-3 13, Dequan Twilley 1-8 1-2 3, Mike Smith 5-7 3-5 13, Kenyona Swader 5-6 1-1 12, Travis Strong 2-3 0-0 6, Tommy Hubbard 0-0 0-0 0, Blake Mishler 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 33-60


83. 3-point goals: 3-16 (Tiggs 0-1, Pigram 0-6, Twilley 0-4, Smith 0-1, Swader 1-2, Strong 2-2). Fouls: 27. Fouled out: Reed, Smith. Rebounds: 10-30=40 (Tiggs 8, Smith 8, Swader 7). Team rebounds: 2. Assists: 15 (Pigram 5, Twilley 4). Steals: 10 (Tiggs 3, Smith 3). Blocked shots: 4 (Reed 2). Turnovers: 23. Blocked shots: 4 (Reed 2).



Markel Humphrey 3-11 9-14 15, Tirrell Baines 5-12 4-8 14, Tyler Wilkerson 8-11 6-8 22, Taurean Marshall 0-0 0-0 0, Mark Dorris 5-13 6-9 17, Darryl Merthie 3-15 0-0 7, Matt Walls 3-6 0-0 9, Robbie Jackson 0-0 0-0 0, Jean-Francois Bro Grebe 0-0 0-0 0, Adam Williams 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 27-68

25-39 84. 3-point goals: 5-24 (Humphrey 0-1, Wilkerson 0-1, Dorris 1-5, Merthie 1-11, Walls 3-6). Fouls: 18. Fouled out: None. Rebounds: 20-18=38 (Wilkerson 7, Dorris 6, Humphrey 6). Team rebounds: 7. Assists: 17 (Merthie 10). Steals: 10 (Dorris 5, Merthie 3). Blocked shots: 1 (Baines). Turnovers: 12.

E. Tennessee St.40376=83