CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- After missing a chance to take Vanderbilt to overtime, Marshall turns its attention to Penn State as it tries to break a two-game road losing streak.
The Thundering Herd (4-4) and Nittany Lions (6-3) face off at 4 p.m. today at the 15,261-seat Bryce Jordan Center. The game will be streamed live on ESPN3.
Thursday against the Commodores, Marshall rallied from a 47-34 deficit early in the second half to make it 69-67, with Shawn Smith hitting two free throws for the final points. The Herd got the ball back with 9.3 seconds left.
Kareem Canty worked his way into the lane for the tying basket, but turned the ball over.
Vandy's James Siakam made the big defensive play. "The guard dribbled down, and I just followed the defensive assignments and switched," Siakam told The Tennessean of Nashville. "He kind of brought the ball in front of me. I kind of made him dribble or fumble it or whatever, and that's how we got a stop."
Marshall was held to 40 percent from the floor and 5 of 16 from 3-point range. The old bugaboo surfaced at times, as the Herd shot a par-for-the-course 61 percent from the line, 14 of 23. Elijah Pittman was the big culprit, going 3 of 10.
Canty finished with 18 points and four rebounds, while Pittman had 17 and Smith 15.
The Nittany Lions have a similar two-game losing streak, falling to Mississippi in the Barclays Classic in Brooklyn (79-76) and at Pittsburgh (78-69).
Tim Frazier and D.J. Newbill are doing the bulk of the scoring, both averaging move than 19 points per game. Frazier, a 6-foot-1 graduate-student point guard, averages seven assists to go with his 19.4 points; Newbill is a 6-4 junior guard who averages 19.3 points and 6.7 rebounds.
A telling stat: Seven players have winged up at least 14 3-pointers for Penn State, with Newbill hitting 17 of 38 (44.7 percent). As a team, the Lions are hitting 47.3 percent from the line, 37.9 from 3-point range and 74.9 percent from the line.
After today, the Herd takes a week off for final exams before playing archrival West Virginia on Dec. 14. Tip-off at the Charleston Civic Center is 7:30 p.m.
Reach Doug Smock at 304-348-5130, dougsm...@wvgazette.com or follow him at twitter.com/dougsmock.