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Herd Holds Off Charging Seahawks, 69-64

Courtesy: UNCW Athletic Communications  
Release: 11/22/2011
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Wilmington native Freddie Jackson poured in 11 points off the bench in UNCW's 69-64 setback to visiting Marshall.
View larger Courtesy: Chris Crouch

Wilmington native Freddie Jackson poured in 11 points off the bench in UNCW's 69-64 setback to visiting Marshall.

WILMINGTON, North Carolina - Marshall senior Damier Pitts scored a game-high 21 points, including 19 in the second half, to help the Thundering Herd overcome a quick-starting UNCW squad and earn the 69-64 victory in men's basketball action Tuesday night in Trask Coliseum.

The Herd improved to 4-0 with the non-conference road win, its first of the season, while the Seahawks dipped to 0-3 with the loss in their home opener.

UNCW junior center Keith Rendleman scored 11 of his team-high 15 points in the second half as the Seahawks narrowed an 11-point halftime deficit to four points on two occasions in the final 10 minutes. Freshmen guards Adam Smith and Freddie Jackson also finished in double figures in points with 14 and 13, respectively. Freshman Cedrick Williams grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds for UNCW, which dropped to 2-1 all-time against Marshall.

Herd sophomore DeAndre Kane tallied 19 points on 5-of-7 shooting from the field and was 7-of-11 from the free throw line. Senior Shaquille Johnson was Marshall's high rebounder, grabbing eight boards off the bench.

Coach Buzz Peterson used his third different starting lineup in as many games, with this group including three freshmen and one sophomore. But the young Seahawks played with poise and started the game scorching hot, going 4-4 from the field to begin the contest and gain an early 8-0 advantage.

The Herd came charging back, however, and took a 15-14 lead with 8:23 left in the half on a free throw from junior Dennis Tinnon on the heels of a 12-2 Marshall run.


After two baskets from Jackson, the Herd responded with a 13-1 run, punctuated by junior Robert Goff's putback with 2:54 on the clock to put Marshall out in front 28-19. The Herd maintained the lead, and a three-pointer from Kane with seven seconds remaining gave Marshall a 36-25 halftime advantage.


But the Seahawks refused to go away, and in the second half took advantage of early Marshall fouls to spark a 14-2 run, capped by freshman Adam Smith's free-throw at the 11:45 mark. The basket cut the Herd lead to 45-41.  


The Seahawks would attempt a late comeback with two treys from sophomore Tanner Milson in the final minute. His second three cut the lead to 68-64 with seven seconds remaining in the contest.


UNCW concludes its two-game homestand Saturday against in-state rival and Southern Conference opponent Davidson in a 2 p.m. matinee, while Marshall wraps up its first road swing of the season Friday in a date with Big East foe Cincinnati.


GAME NOTES
: UNCW outscored Marshall inside 30-26 ... The Seahawks shot 45.1 percent from the floor compared to the Herd's 47.8 percent ... Marshall outrebounded UNCW 33-31 in the contest ... The Seahawks drop to 37-31 all-time against Conference USA opponents in its first game against a CUSA team since 2008 ... The Seahawks won the turnover battle, forcing 16 miscues by the Herd while only committing 15 ... Marshall duo DeAndre Kane and Damier Pitts played a combined 73 minutes ... Led by Freddie Jackson's 11 points, the UNCW bench outscored the Herd, 21-10, it was the first time they did so this season.


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