The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Latest Sports

March 11, 2014

Marshall, Florida Atlantic meet tonight in C-USA Tournament

First-round game to tip at 8 p.m. Eastern

Marshall’s only chance at finding itself in a postseason bracket will require an improbable run to the Conference USA Tournament championship and its automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.

Step one of that arduous task would be tonight, when the Thundering Herd takes on Florida Atlantic in a first-round game at the Don Haskins Center in El Paso, Texas. Tip-off for the nontelevised game will be 8 p.m. Eastern.

The Herd goes in as the 14th seed in the 15-team tournament after a horrendous season that saw it go 10-21 overall and just 4-12 in C-USA. FAU (10-21, 5-11) is the 11th seed.

The winner will take on No. 6 Old Dominion — one of five teams to receive a bye into the second round — at 4:30 p.m. Eastern Wednesday.

Also receiving first-round byes were No. 5 UTEP (tournament host), No. 7 Tulane, No. 8 UAB and No. 9 Charlotte.

Already in the quarterfinals are the top four — Louisiana Tech, Tulsa, Middle Tennessee and Southern Miss.

Having to win five games in five days would be quite the accomplishment on its own. Considering Marshall hasn’t won more than two in a row this season, and is 2-13 on the road, the odds of any kind of magic happening are certainly slim.

“We’ll worry about winning the first game on Tuesday and our goal is to stay in El Paso, Texas, for a long time next week,” Marshall coach Tom Herrion said after last Thursday’s 74-70 loss to Charlotte in the regular season finale. “Our guys will be ready for it. It’s (a lot of the players’) first time in a conference tournament and getting our guys away for a bit will be good for us.”

Marshall trailed Charlotte 70-59 with 1:41 to go before a late comeback attempt fell short.

“For some reason we always wait until the last seven minutes to play hard,” said redshirt freshman point guard Kareem Canty, who had 22 points and seven assists against the 49ers. “I just know it’s something we better work on come tournament time, or we’ll be sent home quick.”

Canty, who became the third freshman in Marshall history to score 500 points in a season, will start tonight. He leads the Herd with 16.4 points and 5.7 assists per game. The assist total is third in C-USA.

On Monday, Canty was selected as an All-C-USA third-teamer.

Joining Canty tonight will be guard Chris Thomas (12.7 ppg, 4.0 rebounds), and forwards Ryan Taylor (13.1 ppg, 7.2 rpg), Shawn Smith (7.5 ppg, 4.0 rpg) and Cheikh Sane (3.2, 5.2).

The Herd lost 65-57 to FAU on Feb. 1. The Owls are coached by Mike Jarvis, who announced on Feb. 28 that he will resign after the season is over to pursue other basketball opportunities. He is 76-111 in six seasons at FAU and has a career record of 395-313 that includes a successful stint at St. John’s.

The Owls are led by senior guard Pablo Bertone, a league first-teamer who averages 18.9 ppg, and 6-foot-9 center Justin Raffington at 10.3 rebounds.

Canty’s frustrations have been well documented, but he still hasn’t given up hope.

“We’re as talented as any team in the conference. We just have to believe and play like it,” Canty said. “Marshall has done it before. I feel we can do the same thing if we just believe.”

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

1
Text Only
Latest Sports
  • Clark makes voice heard in return to Redskins

    Ryan Clark has been a showman, entertainer, spokesman, pontificator, critic, leader, mentor and fashionista — and that's just from one week of Washington Redskins training camp.

    August 1, 2014

  • Steelers WR Antonio Brown aims for repeat of 2013
    Antonio Brown rolled up to the dorms at Saint Vincent College last week in a Mercedes conversion van. It's fitting in a way. Five years into a blossoming career, the Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver is playing the role of dad — OK, maybe slightly older brother — to a group long on talent but short on experience.

    August 1, 2014

  • Steelers sign K Suisham through 2018 season
    The Pittsburgh Steelers have given kicker Shaun Suisham a four-year contract extension that runs through the 2018 season.

    August 1, 2014

  • RH 080114saints1.jpg Intensity reaches new level at Saints training camp

    Following their first day off from training camp on Wednesday, the New Orleans Saints reported to their new $30 million practice facility at The Greenbrier Thursday full of energy and with an edge that hadn’t been seen through the first five practices.

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Holliday.jpg Backup quarterback battle one to watch at Marshall

    Marshall has a pretty decent quarterback in Rakeem Cato, a Heisman Trophy candidate who is expected to lead the Thundering Herd to its most successful season in more than a decade.

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • New Orleans practices bring back memories for Haas

    Bob Haas stood back away from the field Thursday, watching the action at the New Orleans Saints Greenbrier training camp intently but avoiding getting too close.

    August 1, 2014

  • Holgorsen: ‘The guys were pretty fired up’

    West Virginia University head football coach Dana Holgorsen said everybody in the country has a good first practice, but after his Mountaineers hit the field for the first time Thursday, he was glad he wasn’t focused on negatives.

    August 1, 2014

  • Wilson out indefinitely after Tuesday's injury

    Current New York Giants and former Virginia Tech running back David Wilson will not practice for the rest of the week and is out for Sunday's Hall of Fame game after suffering what the team called a "burner" in practice on Tuesday

    July 31, 2014

  • Steelers speedy rookie LB Shazier making quick impression

    The 15th overall pick in the draft is drawing raves from his teammates for his quickness and his coaches for his smarts.

    July 31, 2014

  • Less zone-read for RG3 under Redskins coach Gruden

    Robert Griffin III faked the handoff to Alfred Morris and took off down the left sideline, showing the burst of speed that helped him become the NFL's Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2012. 

    July 31, 2014

Saints Training Camp