Tulane Smothers Herd, 61-36

NEW ORLEANS, La. - Defense was the name of the game on Saturday evening. Tulane University held Marshall to just 36 points and 23.6 percent shooting as the Green Wave rolled to a 61-36 victory in Conference USA men's basketball action at Fogelman Arena. The 36 points matches the league record for fewest points allowed in a league game.

Tulane (8-12, 4-4 C-USA), which has now won three straight games and four of its last five, found itself in a dogfight at the half, holding a 24-21 lead. However, after Marshall (9-11, 2-5 C-USA) pulled within one at 26-25 with 18:07 to go, the Wave defense held the Thundering Herd scoreless for nearly 10 minutes.

"The first four minutes of the second half were the key to the game," Tulane head coach Dave Dickerson said. "David Gomez came out and played inspired basketball with Quincy Davis on the bench with three fouls. His teammates got him the basketball and he delivered."

While the defense was clicking, the Wave went to work in the paint on the offensive end - pounding the ball inside to its big men Gomez and Davis. Gomez, who finished with a game-high 17 points, scored eight of the Green Wave's first 10 points in the second half; and Davis returned to the lineup with three fouls and followed with three straight baskets to cap a 15-0 run which made it 41-25 with 8:36 to go.

Marshall finally broke the drought at the 8:20 mark with a layup by LaVar Carter and a pair of free throws from Mason Wooldridge. However, Tulane again rallied, rattling off 11 straight points to push the margin to 52-29 with 4:15 remaining.

Overall, the Wave held the Herd to just 23.6 percent (13-of-55) shooting, including 17.9 percent in the second half. Marshall hit five field goals and scored just 14 points in the half.

"We've been a good defensive team lately," Dickerson said. "Our defensive effort is one of the things we can control. If we can continue to do that, it will pay off for us."

The 36 points is the fewest allowed by Tulane since Jan. 4, 2003 in an 88-30 victory over Morris Brown.

"To hold them to 36 points is a great feat, but we're not looking at stats and totals of the game," Dickerson said. "We're looking for wins."

Gomez had a perfect game, finishing six-of-six from the field, one-of-one from three-point range and four-of-four from the line. Davis finished with 13 points and seven rebounds. The Wave shot 45.3 percent (24-of-53) from the floor and held a 45-32 advantage on the glass. Tulane had a 25-14 advantage in rebounding in the second half and also held a 38-20 advantage in points in the paint.

Tulane built an eight-point lead at 17-9 in the first half, but the Thundering Herd battled back, cutting it to two at 22-20. The two tams combined to miss 36 shots in the first half as Tulane shot 34.6 percent (9-of-26) and Marshall hit 29.6 percent (8-of-27) of its shots.

"In the first half, we didn't play well. We got selfish, we took bad shots and we got away from who we are. For a team to change the way we play from the first half to the second half is unbelievable."

Despite Marshall pulling within one on two occasions, the Wave never trailed - the second straight game it has led wire-to-wire.

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