The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

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February 6, 2013

Herd starts 2-game road swing tonight at Tulane

It’s not the Super Bowl, and maybe the power will even stay on.

Marshall will visit New Orleans today to take on Tulane. Tip-off from Devlin Fieldhouse will be 8 p.m. Eastern time.

The Thundering Herd (10-12, 3-4 Conference USA) has had great success against the Green Wave (14-8, 2-5 C-USA) over the years — they lead the all-time series 8-5, including wins in the last four. That trend is something Marshall, which is 0-7 on the road this season, would like to see continue.

Of those eight wins over Tulane, four have come in New Orleans.

Marshall is coming off its top performance of the season, shooting 51.9 percent and blocking 14 shots in a 75-71 win over Central Florida.

“I’m proud of my group,” Marshall coach Tom Herrion said. “We were really efficient, I thought, on offense for the most part. Shooting 52 percent for us was really good.”

Center Nigel Spikes, a 6-foot-10 senior, had nine of the 14 blocks. It was the fourth most in team history and the most since Hassan Whiteside had a school-record 13 against UCF on Feb. 27, 2010.

Whiteside was drafted four months later by the Sacramento Kings.

“I’m happy for Nigel Spikes,” said UCF coach Donnie Jones, the former Marshall coach who recruited Spikes to Huntington. “I’m not happy for us, but that’s what I thought Nigel could become here.”

Tonight’s game will feature four of the top 11 scorers in the conference — two from each team.

Marshall’s Elijah Pittman is tied for ninth at 14.8 points per game and DeAndre Kane 11th at 14.4.

Tulane’s Josh Davis is second in the league at 17.1 ppg, while Ricky Tarrant is tied with Pittman.

D.D. Scarver is averaging 13.8 points for the Herd, which ranks 15th in the conference.

Pittman and Scarver are first and second, respectively, in scoring average among first-year players in C-USA.

Rod Rucker of UAB, which the Herd will play at 3 p.m. Saturday, is third on that list with 13.6 points per game.

Tulane has lost five of its last seven games, including a 62-50 loss at UTEP last Saturday. But the Green Wave is second in the conference with 59.3 points allowed per game.

Davis also leads Tulane conference-best 9.9 boards per game this season.

— E-mail: gfauber@

register-herald.com

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