"We knew if we could get this team in a halfcourt set, and keep them out of playing in a straight line and limit their possessions, we had a great chance of winning," said DSU coach Greg Jackson. "We extended our defense, we gave them a zone look, man look, kind of kept them off balance most of this game."
Freshman Tamron Manning and sophomore Chris Martin have not filled Kane's void, as they have combined for nine assists and 19 turnovers in the four games. But the turnover bug has spread all over - Dennis Tinnon has 16 in the four games and Elijah Pittman has 11. Wednesday night, eight different Herd players turned it over in the first half.
Passing has been an adventure, and it led to the Herd's demise against Delaware State. With the game tied at 46, Tinnon was trapped near the foul line and his desperate attempt to find DeVince Boykins was interrupted by the Hornets' Jabari Joyner. After a timeout, Joyner's 3-pointer with 58 seconds left put the Hornets up for good.
Freshman Kelvin Amayo showed promise in his first extended action after becoming eligible, recording eight points, an assist and three steals in 16 minutes. He went 3 of 5 from the floor, showing a Kane-like ability to drive to the basket.
But Amayo did catch the Herd's free throw disease, hitting just two of his seven attempts. And Herrion is not ready to pronounce him the offensive savior, especially after Wednesday's result.
With a Kane-less road game at 2 p.m. Saturday against a veteran Ohio team, Herrion and his assistants are seeking anything that would make the Herd offense less offensive. The coach knows there is no easy answer.
"[Nonqualifier Kareem] Canty and Kane aren't playing," Herrion said. "Do the math. Guys aren't making plays, not making plays for other guys. Maybe we don't have guys who can do it, I don't know."
Reach Doug Smock at 304-348-5130, dougsm...@wvgazette.com or follow him at twitter.com/dougsmock.
Marshall's lowest-scoring games under third-year coach Tom Herrion:
48 - vs. Alabama-Birmingham, Feb. 9, 2011 (64-48 loss)
49 - vs. UAB, Jan. 25, 2012 (56-49 loss)
51 - vs. Akron, Jan. 1, 2012 (67-51 loss)
51 - vs. Delaware State, Jan. 2, 2013 (53-51 loss)
54 - at Kentucky, Dec. 22, 2012 (82-54 loss)
56 - 4 times, last vs. Cincinnati at Charleston, Dec. 15, 2012 (72-56 loss)