On Monday Conference USA says goodbye to four members, UCF, SMU, Houston, and Memphis as they enter the newly minted American Athletic Conference. While C-USA still has more schools to come and go over the upcoming years lets review Marshall's most memorable moments against tomorrows departures.
March 29th 2010 - Knights Sign Donnie Jones Away from Herd
Although this confrontation occurred off the court, UCF’s hiring of then Marshall basketball coach Donnie Jones was arguably the biggest dust up between the two institutions while in C-USA. Jones told ESPN’s Andy Katz that his departure to a conference rival was “the toughest decision for me to make”
January 13th 2012 – Hotel Gate
In what can only be described as a bizarre incident UCF basketball players A.J. Pompoza, Tristian Spurlock, and Kasey Wilson took to Twitter and posted sarcastic comments about the Knight’s accommodations at Huntington’s Pullman Plaza Hotel. Their tweets quickly went viral and were broadcast by national websites including Deadspin. Obviously, Marshall fans did not take kindly to the messages and an already hostel Cam Henderson Center was at full tilt the following evening as the Herd took down UCF 65-64.
September 24th 2005 – UCF Breaks Losing Streak
UCF had lost 17 straight football games when they hosted Marshall for both schools conference opener in 2005. The Knight’s would snap their losing streak that night, beating the Thundering Herd 23-13. At the final whistle jubilant UCF fans stormed the field and took down the goal post.
January 21st 2009 - Markel’s Miracle
With the clock nearing zero and the score knotted at 50, Marshall’s Markel Humphrey grabbed a SMU rebound, took a few dribbles, and nailed a 75-foot bank shot to secure a 53-50 win over the visiting Mustangs.
May 25th 2008 – Houston Best Marshall for Baseball Title
Seeded 6th in the 2008 C-USA baseball tournament Marshall went on a impressive run, beating two higher seeds on their way to the championship game against Houston. Unfortunately the Cougars were better that day, beating the Herd 3-2.
February 1st 2011 – Aundra Williams Comes up Big
Scoring his only points of the game, Marshall forward Aundra Williams converted a layup with 11 seconds to play, securing a 63-62 win at Houston.
October 28th 2008 – Tragedy on the Field
In front of a national television audience Marshall hosted Houston for a Thursday night football game. Sporting green helmets for the first time since 1985 The Herd came out strong, scoring the 13 unanswered points on their way to a 37-27 victory although, the game will always be remembered for what happen to Cougars wide receiver Patrick Edwards. Chasing down a pass late in the third quarter Edwards leg collided with a band cart left carelessly behind the end zone, causing a compound fracture. Fortunately, Edwards made a full recovery and posted three straight 1,000 yard receiving seasons after the injury.
November 17th 2011 – Crunch Time Victory
The outcome appeared bleak for the Herd as Memphis held a 12 point lead with just over 11 minutes left in the fourth quarter. Needing a miracle on the road Marshall received a few including a 65 yard kick return from Andre Snipes-Booker, and powerful runs to the end zone by Travon Van and Tron Martinez. The defense also held strong, holding the Tigers scoreless the remainder of the game as Marshall escaped with a 23-22 victory. The win was crucial as Marshall would defeat ECU at home the following week, securing six wins and postseason eligibility.
January 29th 2011 - Taking Down the Giant
To put it mildly Memphis dominated C-USA basketball after the league re-organized in 2005. During that time period the Tigers won seven conference tournament championships and fell two points short of capturing a national title. The Tigers never had a hard time defeating Marshall either but that all changed on a cold January night in 2011. Lead by 20 points from DeAndre Kane and 17 from both Tirrell Baines and Damir Pitts the Thundering Herd took down Memphis 85-70 in the Cam Henderson Center.
March 10th 2012 - Coming up Short
Marshall entered the 2012 C-USA basketball tournament as the sixth seed, needing to win four games in four days to capture the league title. The Herd came close, reaching the championship game after easy wins over SMU and Southern Miss along with a three overtime thriller against Tulsa. Marshall faced a better rested Memphis squad on their home court for the league title and it showed. The Tigers easily defeated the Thundering Herd in a 83-57 blowout.