EL PASO, Texas – Marshall fell 66-56 on Saturday night at Don Haskins Center after a 21-4 run by UTEP put the Thundering Herd in an insurmountable hole.
Ryan Taylor scored 18 points on 6-of-15 shooting to lead Marshall (6-11, 0-2 Conference USA), while Chris Thomas followed with 13.
UTEP (11-6, 1-1 C-USA) pulled away from a 27-all halftime tie with big surge to open the second half.
John Bohannon was forced to be reckoned with for the Herd defense through the first 20 minutes as he had 11 points and nine rebounds in 17 first-half minutes in his starting role.
Coming out of the locker room to a rejuvenated home crowd of 7,551 fans, UTEP jumped on the Herd with eight quick points in 1:43 to open the half, stretching its lead to 35-27 and forcing coach Tom Herrion to call a timeout. After another Miners bucket, sophomore forward TyQuane Goard snapped the Herd’s scoring drought with a mid-range jumper, but the run would continue.
Bringing Marshall back to life, Thomas scored seven-straight points to make it 53-41with 8:26 to play.
A layup from Thomas brought it to 60-55 with 1:37 left, but the Herd got no closer.
UTEP shot 46.8 percent to the Herd’s 31.1 percent.
The Herd will return home to take on North Texas on Thursday at 7 p.m.