SAN ANTONIO, Texas – With an opportunity to start off fresh with Conference USA play beginning, the Marshall men’s basketball team came up short and fell, 90-81, at conference newcomer UTSA on Thursday night at the Convocation Center.
The Roadrunners improved to 5-9 overall and 1-0 in C-USA play, while the Thundering Herd dropped to 6-10 on the year and 0-1 in league play. In a game that was back and forth from the start, when the final buzzer sounded there had been 13 ties and 16 lead changes in 40 minutes of play.
Marshall coach Tom Herrion started the same five as in the last five games; Kareem Canty (Harlem, N.Y.), Chris Thomas (Denver), DeVince Boykins (Forest City, N.C.), TyQuane Goard (Charleston, W.Va.) and Ryan Taylor (Indianapolis, Ind.). Marshall is now 2-4 in the six games with that starting lineup.
Taylor took over early as he had eight points with 10:44 until the half with UTSA holding serve, 19-16.
Smith entered off the bench and made an immediate impact as
At the half, the Herd found itself in a slim one-point deficit, 41-40. Canty’s nine points led Marshall through the first 20 minutes, to go along with eight each from Taylor and Thomas. The Herd’s full court press defense was successful in impacting the Roadrunner offensive flow by forcing nine first-half turnovers.
To open the second half, Canty scored the first seven Marshall points to keep the Herd within striking distance of UTSA.
With 4:02 remaining in the contest, the Roadrunners went up 79-67 on a three-point play for their largest lead of the game. The Herd would battle to bring the score within single digits, 87-79, with 1:03 remaining, but would get no closer. As the clock ran out, UTSA secured a 90-81 victory in its inaugural C-USA contest.
Marshall struggled to make a game of it late as Taylor, Goard and Thomas each fouled out of the contest in the waning minutes.
Off the bench, junior forward Shawn Smith (Sacramento, Calif.) made an impact with 16 points on 7-of-12 shooting in his emerging role as the Herd’s sixth man. Finishing as the game’s leading scorer, Canty scored 26 for Marshall in a losing effort.
Thomas rounded out the trio of double-digit Herd scorers with 11 points. Marshall has now had three or more of its own score in double figures in all, but one contest this season.
Marshall will conclude its two-game Texas trip against UTEP, Saturday, Jan. 11 at 9:05 p.m. ET.