Pirates Fall to Thundering Herd, 72-64
Jan. 10, 2009
From wire and staff reports
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. -- Tyler Wilkerson scored 24 points and grabbed 10 rebounds to lead Marshall to a 72-64 victory over East Carolina on Saturday.
The Thundering Herd (8-7, 1-1 Conference USA) shot 54.8 percent from the field (23-of-43) and held off East Carolina (9-6, 1-1) in the final minute.
The two clubs played to a 33-33 tie at halftime. East Carolina came out of the break on fire, using a pair of Jamar Abrams 3-pointers to grab its biggest lead of the game at eight points two-and-a-half minutes into the second stanza. After a pair of Markel Humphrey free throws and a Wilkerson layup, the Pirates regained their eight-point lead thanks to back-to-back dunks off of Brock Young feeds.
Young, the nation's leader in assists, threw a no-look pass threw traffic to Darrius Morrow and followed with a highlight-reel alley-oop dish to Abrams. The deafening dunks, however, seemed to wake up the Herd, who responded with an 11-2 run to claim its first second-half lead, 48-47, three minutes later.
ECU forced a 51-51 tie at the 10-minute mark and jumped out to a five-point lead after a James Legan trey and an Abrams layup. The Herd surged ahead moments later and never relinquished the lead with a Wilkerson 15-foot jumper followed by a dunk by freshman Shaquille Johnson.
Marshall led 66-56 with 3:11 remaining in the game before the Pirates cut the lead to 67-64 on Morrow's free throw with 56 seconds left.
The Thundering Herd clinched the game at the free-throw line, going 5-of-6 in the final 32 seconds.
Wilkerson was 7-of-10 from the field and 10-of-12 from the line. He hit three free throws and had three rebounds in final 24 seconds of the game.
Dago Pena scored 14 points and Markel Humphrey added 11 points for Marshall.
Legan scored a team-high 16 points for Mack McCarthy's Pirate squad and Sam Hinnant registered 14 points. ECU posted 17 assists on its 22 field goals as Young dished out a game-high seven assists while chipping in six points.
ECU went 6-for-10 from 3-point range in the first half, but hit just 4-of-13 attempts in the second half.
The Pirates return to action Saturday, Jan. 17, at home against UTEP. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m.