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Herd seeking end to road woes tonight

AP Photo
Demetrius Treadwell, last season's Mid-American Conference tournament MVP, averages 13.6 points and 8.0 rebounds for Akron.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Marshall's basketball team lumbers into 2014 with a long list of resolutions. The overriding one: Play better on the road.

Losing away from Huntington is piling up, including an 0-6 mark in the 2013 version of this season. Three days after getting blasted at South Carolina, the Thundering Herd will attempt to end that misery tonight at Akron.

Tip-off time is at 7 p.m.

The Herd (5-8) last won away from home on Feb. 20, 2013, 82-70 at Central Florida. Over two seasons, the streak has hit nine games in neutral or true road games.

As for this season, the difference for the Herd between home and road has been astounding. The road opponents have been better, as one can imagine, with the Herd playing at Vanderbilt, Penn State and South Carolina, as well as the usual neutral-site game against West Virginia.

But the 92-65 loss at South Carolina wasn't a confidence-booster. The Gamecocks outscored the Herd 56-34 to blow the game open.

Some of MU's horrifying numbers from that loss:

  • The Gamecocks held a 44-27 bulge in rebounding. A better indicator: They yanked down 18 offense rebounds to Marshall's 18 defensive boards - a dominating ratio. Appropriately, USC had 18 second-chance points to MU's four.
  • South Carolina enjoyed a 54-28 advantage in points in the paint, 21-12 off turnovers and 16-6 on the fast break.
  • Kareem Canty had a dubious double-double Monday, 13 missed shots and 11 turnovers. He averages 5.5 turnovers on the road, 3.1 at home.
  • Marshall was 1 of 14 from 3-point range. Ryan Taylor buried a long shot with 5:14 left in the first half, barely extending the Herd's streak with at least one successful 3-pointer to 724 games.
  • Tonight, the Herd has its hands full with the defending Mid-American Conference champion Zips and 6-foot-7 Demetrius Treadwell. The MAC tournament MVP last March, he's averaging 13.6 points and 8.0 rebounds per game.

    Just as impressive is the Zips' 3-point shooting - they average eight makes per game and shoot 43.5 percent. Marshall has given up 18 3-point goals over its last two games in 43 attempts, 41.9 percent.

    The Zips, who suffered their own disaster at South Carolina (78-45 on Dec. 28), are coming off a 77-66 win over Coppin State.

    "Treadwell, he can play the post, drive from the perimeter and he's a rebounder," said MU coach Tom Herrion. "They space the floor, shoot the 3s. When Treadwell's in there, he deserves a lot of attention, but they have a lot of weapons and can hurt you with the 3-ball."

    Marshall returns home for its last non-conference game, playing Presbyterian at 2 p.m. Sunday.

    BRIEFLY: DeVince Boykins, who injured his back in the South Carolina game, is a game-time decision, as is Tamron Manning and Cheikh Sane. Manning and Sane played 15 and 17 minutes, respectively, with Sane scoring two points and Manning getting blanked. ... Tonight's game is a return bout of Akron's Jan. 1, 2012 visit to Huntington, a real stinker of a 67-51 loss by the Herd. ... Otherwise, the Herd leads the all-time series 11-10.

    Reach Doug Smock at 304-348-5130, dougsmock@wvgazette.com or follow him at twitter.com/dougsmock.


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