Memphis, TN (Sports Network) - DeAndre Kane led all scorers with 18 points and Damier Pitts finished with 16 as Marshall knocked off Southern Methodist, 74-56, in the first round of the Conference USA Tournament.
Shaquille Johnson contributed 15 points and Dennis Tinnon grabbed 15 rebounds for the sixth-seeded Thundering Herd (19-12), who will play third-seeded Tulsa in Thursday's quarterfinals.
Rodney Clinkscales's 17 points were not enough for the 11th-seeded Mustangs (13-19), who received 10 points and eight boards from Robert Nyakundi in defeat.
Back-to-back treys from Clinkscales and Nyakundi gave SMU an early 10-6 lead. But down 18-15, Marshall woke up, exploding on a 14-2 run.
It held a 33-26 edge at the half.
The Mustangs scored the first seven points out of intermission to tie the contest at 33, but the Herd scored the next nine and never looked back.
Marshall improved to 8-0 all-time against SMU. This was the first meeting between these programs in tournament play.
03/07 18:31:30 ET
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