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Tigers' Second-Half Surge Cut Short in Loss to Marshall
Sunday, December 28, 2008

Free-Throw Shooting Hurt Tigers in Loss 

Huntington, W. Va. - Down by 42-21 at halftime, the Tigers (3-8) clawed to within four points in the second half (60-66), but were plagued by missed free throws, falling to Marshall (7-5), 74-60, inside Cam Henderson Arena.  Poor free-throw shooting proved to be the Achilles heel as the Tigers shot 38 percent (8-of-21) from the charity stripe.

Gerald Robinson, Jr. scored a game-high 21 points with five rebounds, four assists and five steals. Jerrell Houston complemented with 14 points (6-of-8) and Darius Cox tallied nine points, seven boards and two blocks.

The Thundering Herd jumped out to a 16-3 lead with 14:36 remaining in the first. Houston scored six points in two minutes to help narrow the gap, 31-16. The Tigers shot 32 percent from the field in the first half and trailed 42-21 at the break.

The Tigers opened the second half with a 21-7 run, including six unanswered points in the first four minutes, closing the Thundering Herd lead, 49-44 at the 10:30 mark. With 8:54 remaining, Robinson hit a 3-pointer to close the lead, 51-47.

Marshall answered with seven straight points and opened double-digit leads at the 7:18 and 5:50 mark. The Tigers regained momentum when Parker Smith hit a 3-pointer to spark a TSU 10-5 run, narrowing the gap, 66-60, with 2:14 remaining. Smith finished with 10 points off the bench, hitting 4-of-9 from the floor. The Tigers held Marshall to 33 percent shooting while hitting 57 percent from the floor in the half.

Marshall's free throw shooting was near perfect, hitting 96 percent (24-of-25). The Thundering Herd was led by Tirrell Baines' 18 points and six boards. Down the stretch the Tigers had to foul for a chance to pull out the win, but Marshall's strong free-throw shooting sealed the win.  

TSU will close out 2008 against Georgia Tech in Atlanta. The game is scheduled for Dec. 30th. Tip-off is set for 7:00 p.m.