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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Thursday, January 9, 8 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Convocation Center (4,080) -- San Antonio, Texas. Television: TWC Sports. Home Record: MU 6-2, UTSA 3-5. Away Record: MU 0-6, UTSA 1-4. Neutral Record: MU 0-1, UTSA 0-0. Conference Record: MU 0-0, UTSA 0-0. Series Record: First-ever meeting.
GAME NOTES: The Marshall Thundering Herd will try to end their road woes as they visit the Convocation Center for their Conference USA opener against the Texas-San Antonio Roadrunners.
Marshall improved to 6-9 on the season with a 77-49 rout of Presbyterian its last time out. Coach Tom Herrion's squad suffered back-to-back losses at South Carolina and Akron in its previous two outings to fall to 0-6 in true road contests. The Thundering Herd have adopted a new style of play this season due to the addition of nine newcomers. They have the third highest scoring average among C-USA schools at 82 ppg and the second worst scoring defense mark in the league at 75.4 ppg.
The only school in the conference with a more generous defense is UTSA, which is surrendering 78.6 ppg. The Roadrunners are nowhere near as efficient on the offensive end of the floor, where they are netting just 69.5 ppg to rank 12th in the C-USA. Coach Brooks Thompson's team was downed, 104-71, at Arkansas its last time out and has lost three of its last four games to drop to a 4-9 standing.
This will be the first meeting in history between these schools on the hardwood.
The Herd have been able to post impressive offensive numbers despite losing their star tandem of DeAndre Kane and Elijah Pittman from the 2012-13 unit. Kane is having a great season as a member of Iowa State and Pittman was suspended indefinitely in early December. Marshall has a new duo to lean on in freshmen Kareem Canty and Ryan Taylor. Canty is posting 16.4 ppg to go along with a C-USA leading 6.9 apg. Taylor was named the league's Freshman of the Week after he averaged 17.3 points and 7.3 rebounds last week. Sophomore guard Chris Thomas is adding 11.6 ppg to give the Herd a reliable third scoring option.
UTSA has been without its leading scorer, Keon Lewis, for the past three games due to injury. The trio of Hyjii Thomas, Jordan Sims and Devon Agusi will continue to do their best to pick up the slack if he is unable to return. Agusi had a strong showing versus the Razorbacks his last time out, tallying a game-high 20 points. Agusi also committed nine of the team's 28 turnovers in the loss. Thomas and Sims chipped in 12 points apiece. The Roadrunners have been careless with the ball throughout the campaign and rank last in the C-USA in assist-to-turnover ratio entering league play.
Although Marshall has been awful on the road, it showed signs of life in its one-point loss to a decent Akron team and built up plenty of momentum in its blowout victory over Presbyterian. UTSA's inability to take care of its possessions will hurt it against the Herd, who should be able to pull away with their uptempo style of play.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Marshall 88, Texas-San Antonio 77
01/09 10:34:50 ET
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