Herd Hangs Tough, Fall To UTEP 74-67

Marshall had a sub-par shooting night, hitting just 35 percent from floor and 11-of-20 at the line. Meanwhile, UTEP was hitting 28-of-33 from the stripe, including a perfect 20-of-20 for the Miners Stefan Jackson on his way to 35 points. But the Herd rallied throughout the half, falling 13 behind early and down ten with 3:30 to go. MU cut it to one with a minute left but UTEP held on, 74-67.

Marshall was led by Chris Lutz, who scored 24 points and nailed 7-of-18 threes in the game. Markel Humphrey had a his ninth career double-double with 18 points and a team-leading ten rebounds. But no other Herd player was in double figures at the end of the game. Damier Pitts did return to the staring lineup with nine points and team-leading four assists at the point.

Besides Stefon Jackson, UTEP also had no other players in double digits. But the Miners got eight points each from Randy Culpepper and Jason Jones. Julyan Stone led the Miners with eight rebounds, but the Miners gave up the ball 18 times and were out-rebounded by three, 39-to-36.

Coach Donnie Jones was anything but pleased with the officiating during the game, but was proud of his team's effort following the contest. "I am proud of our team. We competed and never stopped competing throughout the game," said Jones. "I like the way our guys hustled and fought throughout. You gotta give UTEP credit, they have a good team and Stefon Jackson is a great player. But it seemed like he got a foul called every time he went to the basket."

"We have got to take care of the basketball, especially in the road," Jones said. "We had two bad passes late and that cost us four points. You can't have that and win against a good team on the road." Marshall had cut the lead to two with a minute to play, at 66-64, but Jackson responded with a floater to put UTEP back up by four. Johnson's in-bound pass was taken away by Culpepper, and Jackson hit 6-of-6 at the line in the final seconds to seal the victory."

Marshall caught its charter flight home, giving the Herd time to get ready for this week's games, a Wednesday night meeting with the Houston Cougars at the Henderson Center, then a flight to New Orleans, La. for a 4:40 p.m. (ET) tip with the Tulane Green Wave.

Marshall beat Tulane at the Henderson Center last week, coming up with an overtime win, 89-86, a game the Herd trailed big in the first half. Lutz had 37 points in the win. "We fought hard and were in the game," said Jones of the UTEP loss Saturday. "Our kids played real hard and we can't wait to get back to practice and get ready for Houston on Wednesday." That tip is 7 p.m.


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