HUNTINGTON - If your hot-and-cold shooting team must take 28 3-point attempts, you're going to have to rebound them well.
Marshall did the former and didn't do the latter, thus extending its recent misery. After its 68-57 loss to Southern Methodist, the Thundering Herd has lost three in a row and seven of its last nine.
As coach Tom Herrion put it, defense and rebounding were bigger culprits than the Herd's proclivity to settle for 3-point shots.
Marshall launched those 28 rainbows out of 59 field-goal attempts, a ratio of nearly 50 percent. It is not the highest ratio, though - the Herd tried more 3-pointers than 2-pointers against Villanova (loss), Tulsa (win) and Southern Mississippi (catastrophic loss).
Of the 21 missed three 3-pointers Wednesday night, the Herd got the rebound on only seven - and only once in the last 17 minutes. Of the eight resulting empty possessions in that stretch, SMU scored twice on dunks.
The other empties came during SMU offensive droughts, so the Herd "merely" missed the chance to start or sustain rallies. That showed, as the Herd got no closer than five points in the second half, which it started with a 12-point deficit.
Overall, MU lost the rebounding battle 41-35. The Herd had 15 offensive rebounds to 10 for SMU, but that's a misleading stat. Instead, a comparison of Marshall's 15 offensive boards to SMU's 31 defensive boards doesn't look so shiny.
That's a .326 offensive rebounding percentage and, yes, Conference USA keeps rankings in that category. Here's another telling spin: In all games, Marshall remains second behind league co-leader Southern Mississippi at .385, but tumbles to ninth in league games (.325).
Marshall's board problems against SMU came despite Dennis Tinnon pulling down 17, a season high and two off his career best. Elijah Pittman added eight, his second-best of the season.
So that means somebody else wasn't pulling his weight underneath, and you can start with the center position, manned by starter Nigel Spikes and fellow senior Robert Goff. The two played a combined 41 minutes, accounting for an offensive rebound and a defensive rebound each.
SMU's starting center, 6-foot-10 Cannen Cunningham, doubled their total with eight rebounds in 29 minutes.