MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - 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.
Marshall 74 vs. SMU 56
SMU Mustangs (13-19), Marshall Thundering Herd (19-12)
March 7, 2012
Conference USA Tournament - First Round
Set a new SMU record for scoring defense 60.1 (previous record 61.3 in 2010-11)
Held opponents to 30.8 3FG% on the season (2nd at SMU)
SMU made 6 3FG, finishes with 248 for the season (2nd at SMU)
SMU finishes with 221 steals on the season (10th at SMU)
SMU had a season-high 6 blocked shots
INDIVIDUAL NOTES Rodney Clinkscales
- Scored a season- and C-USA Tournament-high 17 points
- Scored 10+ points for 3rd consecutive game
- Made 2 3FG
- Finishes career with 87 3FG (16th at SMU)
- Finishes career shooting 39.2% on 3FG (6th at SMU)
- Grabbed 3 rebounds
- Added 2 steals and a block
- Scored 10 points
- Finishes with 1353 career points (15th at SMU)
- Scored 10+ points for 25th time this season
- Made 2 3FG
- Finishes with 267 career 3FG (2nd at SMU)
- Had 84 this season (t-2nd at SMU)
- Grabbed 8 rebounds
- Added 2 assists and a steal
- Played in 123rd career game (now t-3rd at SMU)
- Scored 11 points
- Was 5-6 on FT
- Finished with 142 FT attempts this season (2nd at SMU by a freshman)
- Grabbed 5 rebounds
- Added a block