HUNTINGTON, W.Va. -DeAndre Kane showed Marshall fans Wednesday night that, yes, he is back, and he can balance point-guard duties with his more natural "two guard" talents.
In the days leading to the Thundering Herd's 79-61 dismantling of Tulsa at Cam Henderson Center, Kane showed he can lead his team through adverse situations such as the aftermath of an ugly three-game losing streak.
"His last two days of practice were outstanding and that's what set the tone for our group, in my opinion," said Herd coach Tom Herrion.
Herrion's group laid pretty much the same whipping on Tulsa that it suffered four days earlier at Ohio. The 18-point margin of victory was deceptive, as the Herd led by 25 or more at several points of the second half.
In his second game back from a four-game absence caused by a hand injury, Kane scored 16 points, but that was a small part of the story. He hit 6 of 9 from the floor and 4 for 6 from 3-point range, putting at least a temporary end to a season-long shooting slump.
Entering the game, Kane's field-goal percentage was just .354 and he was 7 of 45 (.156) from 3-point range. His four 3-point goals were his most in a game since his freshman year, when he did it three times.
Perhaps Kane's improvement there was a simple matter of taking the shot only as a third or fourth option. He had seven assists, four in a span of 1:38 down the stretch in the first half. Correspondingly, the Herd expanded its 26-12 lead to 38-15.
Kane fed four different players for baskets, varying from Elijah Pittman's four-point play to dunks by Robert Goff and Dennis Tinnon.
The Herd shot 45 percent as a team, its highest level since another decisive victory, 89-82 over Nevada way back on Nov. 24. That included 12 3-pointers, tying the season high, on 32 attempts.
"There's no coincidence, in my opinion," Herrion said. "With DeAndre getting his legs back again, he's got the ability to get guys the ball in the right spot at the right time. When you're a shooter or a scorer, you've got to get the ball rhythm. We want our shooters to shoot open shots. We've got good-enough shooters."