Marshall Tops the Golden Knights


March 1, 2006

Box Score

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Four Marshall players finished with double-digits in scoring as the Thundering Herd recorded a 73-61 Conference USA victory over the UCF men's basketball team on Wednesday evening at the Cam Henderson Center. Junior forward Josh Peppers led the Golden Knights (12-14, 6-7 C-USA) with a game-high 18 points.

UCF had won two-consecutive games entering the contest, but shot just 33.8 percent overall against Marshall (12-14, 5-8). The Golden Knights attempted a season-high 71 field goals and connected on 24.

The hosts made 36 trips to the free-throw line, making 29, while the Golden Knights were just 6-of-10 at the charity stripe.

"When you are not shooting the ball very well, it gets frustrating," said UCF head coach Kirk Speraw. "We couldn't get the stops (defensively). When you have that combination of things, it kind of gives the team some aggravation. We had a lot of shot attempts, but gave up a lot of free-throw attempts as well."

Marshall used a 13-4 run early in the second half to pull away. Joe Miles hit a pair of three-pointers during the run and his trey at the 12:58 mark gave the Thundering Herd a 45-36 edge. UCF would get no closer than seven points the rest of the way and Marshall's lead grew to as many as 16. Marshall shot 52.6 percent from the field in the second half.

Freshman guard Jermaine Taylor was the only other Golden Knight to total double-figures in scoring, posting 13 points in 20 minutes off of the bench. UCF shot just 7-of-26 (26.9 percent) from three-point range.

The Thundering Herd had a 10-point edge with five minutes to play in the opening stanza, but Taylor sparked an 11-4 spurt for UCF to close the half. Following triples from Peppers and sophomore guard Mike O'Donnell, Taylor nailed a three-pointer to cut the lead to three.

On the Golden Knights' next possession, O'Donnell threw a lob pass from midcourt that Taylor caught for the dunk. Following a late jumper from Mark Patton, who led the hosts with 16 points, Marshall took a 30-27 advantage into intermission.

UCF was playing in the state of West Virginia for the first time in program history.

Miles was 9-of-10 at the free-throw line and finished with 15 points in the victory. Chris Ross scored 13 points and Markel Humphrey added 11 points for Marshall. Patton registered five blocks.

The Thundering Herd shot 45.2 percent for the game and 80.6 percent at the line.

The Golden Knights conclude the 2005-06 regular season on Saturday, hosting UTEP at 7:30 p.m.

Prior to the game, UCF will honor its four seniors - forwards Marcus Johnson and Anthony Williams and guards Troy Lindbeck and Justin Rose -who will all be playing in their final home game.