HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Despite being prepared for the North Texas transition attack, the Marshall men’s basketball team was unable to slow the attack enough to avoid dropping the contest, 80-65, on Thursday night at Cam Henderson Center.
The win lifts the Mean Green to 10-7 on the year and 1-2 in Conference USA play, while the Thundering Herd drops to 6-12 overall and 0-3 in league play.
Out to a fast start, North Texas jumped on Marshall with an early 10-point lead, taking a 17-7 advantage with 11:44 to play until halftime. The Mean Green’s hot start continued as it extended its edge to 27-9 just over two and a half minutes later.
Looking to make a game of it, the Herd battled to work its way back into the game by bringing the score to 29-18 with 4:38 left until the break.
At the half, North Texas held a 39-27 lead after two late free throws from freshman forward Ryan Taylor (Indianapolis) brought the score within 12. Despite having recorded 15 offensive rebounds to four from the Mean Green, the Herd struggled from the field.
A three-point play from freshman guard Kareem Canty (Harlem, N.Y.) with 14:42 left in the game made it 49-39, bringing life to the Marshall hopes. After starting to once again pull away, North Texas was reeled back in by a three-point play from sophomore guard Chris Thomas (Denver) to put the Herd back within 10 points.
With 3:35 remaining, a layup from Taylor cut the deficit to eight, 69-61, but the Herd would draw no closer before the final buzzer sounded and the Mean Green collected the win, 80-65.
Canty’s game-high 26 points, along with Taylor’s 22 points combined for 48 of Marshall’s 65 total points on the night. Taylor was hard for North Texas to stop as he collected his fifth career double-double with 14 rebounds to pair with his 22 points.
From the field, North Texas finished 28-of-56 for a clean 50 percent, while Marshall ended 20-of-65 for 30.8 percent.
Marshall will conclude its brief two-game homestand with a noon tip against Tulsa at the Cam. The contest will be televised nationally by CBS Sports Network.