CHARLESTON, W. Va. -- The Marshall men’s basketball team found itself in a familiar, yet unwanted position, Sunday afternoon.
Jay Hook’s 3-pointer with 1.1 seconds left gave the Thundering Herd its second last-minute loss on the weekend, as Tulane beat Marshall, 68-65, in New Orleans. It was Marshall’s (8-17, 2-8 Conference USA) 12th loss in 13 games this season away from the Cam Henderson Center.
“Obviously, another bitter pill to swallow,” Marshall coach Tom Herrion said on the Herd’s postgame radio show.
The Herd will have nearly a week to prepare for its next game, a 7 p.m. Saturday clash at Charlotte.
Chris Thomas, who led Marshall with 21 points, hit two free throws with 28 seconds left to tie the game at 65-65. Yet with time running out, Hook drained the Green Wave’s eighth 3-pointer of the game. It was a similar situation to Friday night’s 60-57 loss at Southern Mississippi, when Neil Watson hit the Golden Eagles’ game-winning 3-pointer with two seconds left.
The difference between Friday night and Saturday afternoon is that, while the Herd led the vast majority of Friday’s game, it never led at Tulane (13-11, 5-4 C-USA) and trailed by as many as 15 in the second half. A pair of Payton Henson free throws gave Tulane a 53-38 lead.
Yet the Herd battled back to tie the game twice in the game’s last 76 seconds. The first came with Cheikh Sane’s layup with 1:16 left. Sane scored a career-high 11 points and pulled down a game-high seven rebounds. The second tie came with Thomas’ free throws, but 3-point defense again proved to be Marshall’s undoing.
“We didn’t guard 3-point shot all night, and got beat by it again tonight,” Herrion said. “We get outrebounded by Tulane, which isn’t a good rebounding team, and missed free throws when it counted.”
Tulane made 8 of 16 3-pointers and outrebounded Marshall, 32-28. The Herd made 20 of 32 free throws, but with 2:25 to go and the chance to either tie the game or take the lead, down 61-60, sophomore guard Tamron Manning missed a pair of free throws.