RUSTON, La. – Before a near-capacity crowd of 7,355, Marshall was affected early and often against the Louisiana Tech full-court press and trapping defense, leading to 22 turnovers and a 98-77 loss Saturday night.
Bulldogs point guard Kenneth “Speedy” Smith torched the Marshall defense for 17 points and 13 assists in 32 minutes. Tech (17-4, 5-1 Conference USA) enjoyed a 44-20 edge in bench scoring and improved to 3-0 all-time against the Thundering Herd (7-14, 1-5).
Ryan Taylor collected the sixth career double-double with 17 points and 11 rebounds, while Kareem Canty and Chris Thomas added 16 and 13 points, respectively.
At the first media timeout, the Herd trailed 17-6 with six turnovers that led 13 Louisiana Tech points.
The defensive pressure continued to influence the Herd, which shot 58 percent yet trailed 57-39 at halftime, thanks to 17 turnovers.
While the Herd shot 51 percent from the field on the night (29-of-57) and out-rebounded the Bulldogs 37-31, the Herd’s 22 turnovers led to 29 Louisiana Tech points.
Coach Tom Herrion once again adjusted the starting lineup, making it the fourth lineup in as many games for the Herd. This time consisting of Shawn Smith, Kareem Canty, TyQuane Goard, Ryan Taylor and Tamron Manning.
The Herd will return home for two games in three days to continue C-USA play against FIU (Jan. 30) and Florida Atlantic (Feb. 1).