SMU falls to Marshall in first round

The Mustangs' season is over after a 74-56 loss to Marshall in the first round of the Conference USA Tournament that began Wednesday. SMU finishes the season 13-19, 4-13 C-USA. Rodney Clinkscales led the Mustangs with a season-high 17 points.

Memphis, Tenn. - Damier Pitts scored all 16 of his points in the second half to help Marshall defeat SMU 74-56 Wednesday in the first round of the Conference USA tournament.

The sixth-seeded Thundering Herd (19-12) led 33-26 after DeAndre Kane scored 11 of his 18 points in the first half. But Marshall went scoreless for the first 4:29 of the second half as the 11th-seeded Mustangs (13-19) tied it 33-33 on a Jeremiah Samarrippas jumper with 16:09 left.

A jumper by Pitts ended the drought, and Shaquille Johnson scored seven points during an 11-2 run that gave the Thundering Herd a 44-35 lead with 10:48 remaining.

Rodney Clinkscales led SMU with a season-high 17 points. Robert Nyakundi, whose 42.5-percent 3-point shooting led the conference, made just 2 of 10 - and the Mustangs 6 of 24 - from long range.

Johnson added 15 points and Dennis Tinnon had 15 rebounds for Marshall, which will play third-seeded Tulsa in the quarterfinals Thursday.

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