The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

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January 15, 2014

Herd hoping home cooking can get team back on track

So far, this season has been the pits for Marshall’s men’s basketball team. But at least the Thundering Herd doesn’t have to play in The Super Pit.

That’s the home of Marshall’s next opponent, North Texas. No, tonight’s game will be played at the Cam Henderson Center, and a home game — or two — is what the Herd needs.

After losing 66-56 at UTEP last Saturday, Marshall (6-11, 0-2 Conference USA) hosts the Mean Green at 7 p.m. today, before Tulsa visits for a noon game on Saturday.

The loss to the Miners was Marshall’s ninth in as many road games this season.

“We've got to get home and take care of business,” Marshall head coach Tom Herrion told the Herald-Dispatch of Huntington. “A big week ahead of us.”

Early in the conference race, Marshall and league newcomer North Texas share last place with Rice. The Herd will visit the Owls a week from today.

The Mean Green (9-7, 0-2) owns a 61-41 win over Texas A&M, which is thus far unbeaten in SEC play, and defeated Portland 77-72 in double overtime. Portland upset Gonzaga last week.

Probable starters for North Texas are guards Alzee Williams (13.0 points per game), Jordan Williams (11.3, 6.0 rebounds) and Chris Jones (8.0 ppg, 3.5 assists), guard/forward Maurice Aniefiok (7.4 ppg, 4.4 rpg) and forward Keith Coleman (4.8 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 1.1 blocks).

North Texas is the second straight Marshall opponent embroiled in controversy. Word came out Tuesday that school and league officials are looking into its schedule because the Mean Green has played five non-Division I teams, one more than the NCAA limit.

UTEP recently dismissed three players from its team because of a gambling scandal.

Starting for the Herd will be point guard Kareem Canty (16.4 ppg, 6.5 apg), forward Ryan Taylor (13.5 ppg, 7.0 rpg), guard Chris Thomas (11.6 ppg), forward TyQuane Goard (7.4 ppg, 62.9 field goal percentage) and guard DeVince Boykins (2.8 ppg, 2.2 rpg).

— E-mail: gfauber@register-herald.com and follow on Twitter @GaryFauber.

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