The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

February 2, 2013

Herd to host Central Florida for final time

By Gary Fauber
Assistant Sports Editor

BECKLEY — Unless something changes over the coming years, today will be Donnie Jones’ final visit to the Cam Henderson Center.

Marshall (9-12, 2-4 Conference USA) will host Central Florida at 2 p.m. today. The game will be aired statewide on WCHS-TV 8.

It will be the final meeting in Huntington between the rivals before the Knights (15-5, 5-1) leave for the Big East. This will also be the last time Jones coaches in the Henderson Center. The Point Pleasant native was the head coach at Marshall for three seasons, from 2007-2010, before leaving for UCF, a move that led to hard feelings among most Thundering Herd fans.

The only frustration Herd fans are feeling these days is toward their own team.

Marshall is currently on its second three-game losing streak of the season, the latest a 68-57 home setback to SMU — the second of four straight Big East-bound opponents for the Herd.

The Herd’s poor shooting continued with a 20-of-59 (33.9 percent) night from the floor. They were also outrebounded 41-35 and SMU held advantages in second-chance points (15-9) and points in the paint (30-20).

“What is most frustrating and upsetting, is our failure to gain an understanding of who we are,” Marshall coach Tom Herrion said. “We struggle to defend and rebound consistently every night. We seem to have lost our identity.”

Junior DeAndre Kane continues to lead Marshall in scoring at 14.9 points per game. He is 10th in C-USA in scoring, first in assists (6.9), second in assists/turnover ratio (1.90), second in minutes played (36.12) and tied for third in steals (1.82).

Elijah Pittman averages 14.5 ppg and D.D. Scarver 13.7. Dennis Tinnon, who had 17 rebounds in the loss to SMU, is averaging 9.2 per game, which ranks fourth in the conference.

UCF has won four straight games and nine of its last 11. The Knights are led by Preseason C-USA Player of the Year Keith Clanton, who averages a team-best 16.2 points and 9.4 rebounds per game.

Kasey Wilson shoots 55.1 percent from 3-point range, which is second in the nation.

— E-mail: gfauber@