HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Marshall led by as many as 29 points in a 79-61 rout of Tulsa in its Conference USA opener Wednesday night at the Cam Henderson Center.
The Thundering Herd improved to 8-8 overall and 1-0 in C-USA. The Golden Hurricane fell to 9-7 overall and 1-1 in C-USA.
"We played without any agendas tonight," said head coach Tom Herrion. "We played so cohesive. On the bench, every guy contributed, and it was really good. I've got great faith in my kids. They've shown great character. I've said this before, I'm proud to be their coach, and I'm proud to be the coach at Marshall."
The Herd toughened up on its defense in the first half as Tulsa went nearly nine minutes (8:57) without a field goal and came up empty on 14 consecutive possessions. A three-pointer by DeAndre Kane, one of four from the junior guard, gave Marshall a 41-15 lead with 1:52 to play in the half.
Marshall led 43-20 at the half, the largest halftime lead ever by a Herd team in its eight seasons of C-USA play.
"In the first 20 minutes I thought (Dennis) Tinnon played as well as he's played here without scoring a point in two years he's been here," Herrion said. "He had nine rebounds at the half. His defense was the best defense he's played since he's been here. "
Tinnon finished the game with six points and 11 rebounds, the third consecutive game in which he led the team in boards.
The second half began with more of the same as a Tinnon jumper, his first of the game, gave the Herd a 55-26 lead, its largest of the game.
"Tonight was a game that Marshall came out and dictated the flow and tempo of the game," said Tulsa head coach Danny Manning. "They made shots, they rebounded the ball, and we got behind early and couldn't close the gap."
Marshall shot 45.0 percent from the field while Tulsa shot 36.5 percent. The Herd was 12-of-32 from three-point range for 37.5 percent and had a favorable outing at the free throw line going 13-for-20 (65.0 percent).
Junior forward Elijah Pittman led all scorers with 19 points on 6-of-11 shooting including a 4-of-8 night at the three-point line.
Kane and fellow junior guard D.D. Scarver each scored 16 points. Kane enjoyed his best shooting day of his career as he was 6-of-9 from the field including 4-of-6 from three-point range. He also added seven assists and four rebounds.
Senior Robert Goff was 4-of-4 from the field for eight points and had four rebounds. Marshall outrebounded Tulsa 47-32.
Tulsa was led by James Woodard and Shaquille Harrison, each finishing with 12 points.
Marshall will next be in action on Saturday when it plays at El Paso at 9 p.m. ET.