Marshall sent its three seniors out in winning fashion, defeating Southern Miss 88-84 in the final home game of the season.
The Herd (13-17, 6-9 Conference USA) avenged a 56-point loss to Southern Miss (22-8, 11-4) earlier this season in Hattiesburg.
“This is obviously a terrific win for our club for those three seniors, for them to go out with a win,” Marshall coach Tom Herrion said. “I thought that was a great college basketball game.”
“Honestly, this is a great win,” Marshall senior Nigel Spikes said. “They got the best of us on the road, and there’s no better way to get them back in our house on senior night. I told you all we could play.”
The Golden Eagles shot 52 percent from the field, but the Herd offense was even more efficient, shooting 55 percent. Marshall also shot 50 percent from beyond the 3-point line (10-of-20) and shared the ball well, recording 20 assists on 27 baskets.
“Southern Miss is a really, really good team, but we played at a really high level tonight,” Herrion said. “I thought offensively we were as good as we’ve been all year.”
Marshall used multiple defensive looks to keep the Southern Miss’ explosive offense on its heels, but none were more effective than the Herd’s 1-3-1 zone defense.
The Thundering Herd defense used its zone defense to force 15 turnovers, which it converted into 18 points.
“I thought we mixed our defenses really well. The zone was really good to us,” Herrion said.
Southern Miss senior Dwayne Davis recorded a career-high 35 points.
Marshall received points from all nine players that saw the floor and was led by Elijah Pittman who scored 22, just two points from a career high.
On senior night, Marshall freshman Tamron Manning came off the bench to triple his previous career high and score 12 points. He also dished out four assists.
“I was just trying to get into the open gaps as much as possible, and then knock the open shots when I got them,” Manning said.
The Herd will head to Greenville, N.C., to take on East Carolina before entering the conference tournament in Tulsa.
— Jarrod Clay