Feb. 6, 2009
NEW ORLEANS - The Tulane men's hoops team continues a two-game road swing this Saturday against the Marshall Thundering Herd at the Cam Henderson Center in Huntington, W.Va. Tip-off is set for 4 p.m. CST/5 p.m. EST, and the contest will be aired live nationally on CBS College Sports. The game can be seen on Cox Cable of New Orleans, Channel 315, Dish Network, Channel 152 and DirecTV, Channel 613. Tom McCarthy will call the action, while former Wake Forest and South Carolina coach Dave Odom will provide color analysis.
Tulane (9-12, 3-5 C-USA) had won two of its last three outings entering its game at UAB this past Wednesday. However, the Blazers handed the Green Wave its second straight loss with an 81-61 victory.
TU must now get back into the win column against Marshall to avoid dropping three straight contests for the first time this season. Previously, TU knocked off Tulsa in overtime, 76-75, and won at Rice on a buzzer beater, 61-59, but saw its two-game win streak snapped last Saturday at home against UCF in overtime, 79-74.
Marshall (9-13, 2-6 C-USA) posted a .500 non-conference record with a 7-7 mark and also began league play with an even mark of 1-1. However, the Thundering Herd has captured just one victory in their last seven games, a 53-50 win over SMU at the buzzer, and enters its contest with Tulane mired in a four-game skid.
To make matters even worse, Marshall lost the services of its leading scorer and rebounder, Tyler Wilkerson (10.4 ppg/6.2 rpg), for the season with a fractured jaw bone he suffered at home against Tulsa in 73-57 loss this past Wednesday. The Herd is 8-3 overall at home this season, but just 2-2 during C-USA play, and has lost the last two decisions on its home floor after opening league action with a 2-0 mark.
Damier Pitts and Markel Humphrey now lead Marshall in scoring with 10.2 and 10.1 points per game, respectively, while Humphrey is now the top rebounder with 4.5 boards per outing.
Tulane is one of the top teams in Conference USA when it comes to swiping the basketball from its opponents. TU is second behind Memphis for steals during league play with 8.0 per game, and is the third overall with 7.71 per game. Sophomore Kris Richard is the league's top steals leader during C-USA contests with 2.25 per game, and ranks fourth overall with 1.95 per outing.
The trio of Robinson Louisme, Kevin Sims and Kris Richard has been the Wave's top offensive threats over the past five games. Louisime and Sims are each averaging 12.2 points in their last five contests, while Richard is averaging 11.8 points in his last five outings, including 14.3 points per contest in his last three games.
Saturday's game marks the eighth all-time meeting between Tulane and Marshall, and the Green Wave leads the series, 4-3. Tulane has 1-1 record at Marshall with the lone win coming in its first-ever visit to Huntington, 73-65, on Feb. 17, 2007.
Tulane players will see a pair of familiar faces when the Green Wave faces Marshall. Former TU head coach Shawn Finney is in his second year as a member of the Thundering Herd's coaching staff. Previously, Finney was the coach of the Wave from 2000-05. Also on the Marshall staff is former guard Andrew Garcia, who lettered under Coach Dave Dickerson during the 2005-06 and 2006-07 seasons. Garcia is in his first season with the Thundering Herd.
The Green Wave returns to action on its home floor against the East Carolina Pirates on Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2009, and will look to avenge a 69-66 loss to ECU earlier this season on the road in the Conference USA opener for both squads. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.