HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Forget about road woes. The short walk to Cam Henderson Center is becoming a long hike for Marshall players.
The Conference USA wars don't get any easier today, when Tulsa arrives for a brunch-time bout with the Thundering Herd. Tipoff is at noon at Cam Henderson Center, with CBS College Sports Network serving up the action to its national digital cable audience.
Does the Thundering Herd really want the exposure? Will its play send the audience, however large it may be, running for the exits - much like the audiences at the Henderson Center? Can the Herd do something about its moribund state?
Tulsa (7-10, 2-1), coached by Kansas great Danny Manning, is a poor source of mercy. Forget about the Golden Hurricane's 10-loss season, for it is misleading.
The nonconference results were unimpressive, including a loss to Oral Roberts and a split with Texas Christian. But really, this team has been rolled just once, by a tough Wichita State team.
And the Hurricane could be, should be, heading into Huntington undefeated in the league with wins over contenders Southern Mississippi and Charlotte. A 90-86 overtime loss Thursday night against the latter is more painful than the score indicates.
That's because Tulsa held a seven-point lead, 73-66, with 57 second left. One turnover, three missed free throws and four Charlotte layups later, the game was headed into overtime, where the 49ers never trailed.
"At one point coming down to the end of regulation, I thought we had control of the game," Manning said afterward. "But Charlotte took control of it, grasped it and didn't let go."
Shaquille Henderson, a 6-3 guard, scored 26 points while Rashad Ray, a 5-11 guard, added 19 - both career highs. Season-wise, those are two of the Hurricane's three double-figure scorers, with 6-3 guard James Woodard leading with 14.4 points and a 5.9 rebounds per game, also a team high. Smith averages 12.4 points and Harrison 11.2. All three are sophomores.