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Memphis wears down Thundering Herd

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — Let’s get physical.

In a game that was more like football than basketball, the No. 2-ranked Memphis Tigers wore down the Marshall Thundering Herd 68-45 Saturday before 9,043 fans at the Cam Henderson Center.

Marshall trailed just 34-27 at the half, but Memphis held the Herd to just 18 points in the second half and muscled its way to 2-0 in Conference USA.

“We did a good job in the first half. At halftime we talked about the things we needed to do,” said Herd coach Donnie Jones.

“To their credit, they wore us out physically. Our guys got tired. We had a couple of guys cramp up. We struggle when we play big guys. We struggle to score against a big, athletic team.”

Memphis, still unbeaten at 15-0, got 19 points from Derrick Rose. Forwards Robert Dozier and Joey Dorsey scored 16 and 11 points, respectively.

Tigers head coach John Calipari praised Marshall for its ability to go up against his physical team.

“That was a physical game. That was one of the most physical teams we’ve played. I can’t believe we didn’t shoot more fouls,” said Calipari.

“It’s a good thing because every team we play, they have to come after us that way. We need too have lessons and figure out that you have to play through bumps and pushes.”

Markel Humphrey and Mark Dorris scored 12 points each for the Herd, the only players in double figures. Memphis dominated the Herd on the boards 43-28.

“It was real physical and with a team like Memphis, of course the game is going to be physical. The refs were letting us play out there. You have to play through the fouls,” said Humphrey.

Marshall, 9-5 and 1-1 in C-USA, must recovered quickly. The Herd travels to East Carolina on Wednesday for another conference game.

Jones said it was a great experience for his team to play a ranked team like Memphis, but he hoped his players learned a valuable lesson.

“I think it’s great (to play Memphis), especially to have them in our building. I think our guys found out it’s easy to come out and compete for a half, but you’ve got to go out and compete for 40 minutes,” said Jones.