A poor shooting performance in the first half let UTEP run out to a big halftime lead and The Herd was never able to recover. The Miners defeated Marshall for the second time this season, knocking The Herd out of the Conference USA Tournament 77-65.
Marshall shot just 31 percent from the field in the first half, while UTEP made 51 percent of its shots and enjoyed an 18 point lead at the half. The Herd was also cold from three point range, hitting just 1 of 8 in the first half.
The second half was a much different story for The Herd. Marshall actually outscored UTEP 37-31 in the second stanza making 13 of 27 from the field. Meanwhile, UTEP’s offense went cold in the second 20 minutes, shooting 8 of 24 and making only one three pointer.
Marshall’s lack of production from three point range also played a role in the Herd’s demise. Marshall sank just 2 of 16 three point attempts in the game.
Johnny Thomas led the way scoring for Marshall with 13 points. Damir Pitts, Tirrell Baines and Shaquielle Johnson each had 12 points while DeAndre Kaine had 11.
Six Miners scored in double figures led by Gabriel McCulley’s 14 points.
Marshall’s exit from the C-USA tournament all but crushes The Herd’s outside chances of making the NCAA Tournament. Marshall’s season is likely not over. The Herd is a strong contender for an NIT bid.