Despite shooting a paltry 34.4 percent from the field and 5-for-23 from downtown, Marshall was able to hang with the Orange in a 62-56 loss.
The Thundering Herd stayed in the game by completely dominating the offensive glass. Marshall collected 16 rebounds off its own misses, with forward Dennis Tinnon accounting for seven of them. Tinnon scored 17 points and 14 rebounds as Marshall rallied in the second half after trailing by as many as 16 points.
“One thing I’ve been impressed by watching Marshall was they were a rebounding physical team, they got on the boards and exposed of a weakness ours,” Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim said to reporters following the game. “We forced a lot of missed shots and then didn’t get the ball back.”
Over a four minute period in the second half, Tinnon scored eight straight points for the Thundering Herd, with six of those shots coming off of offensive rebounds.
Although Marshall never seriously threatened the Orange in the second half, the Thundering Herd pulled to within eight with 1:07 left after Tinnon made a layup plus a free throw.
“He is a good rebounder,” Boeheim said. “Whenever you play zone there’s going to be some opportunity because of the way we play our zone to cover people, we’re covering people, and there are some opportunities in their for the offense to get on the boards.”
If it wasn’t for Tinnon and forward Robert Goff (eight points, six rebounds), things may have been more lopsided.
Marshall’s two top scorers, DeAndre Kane and Damier Pitts, had awful offensive nights. Kane finished with nine points on 3-for-13 shooting and was 1-for-7 from downtown. Pitts was only slightly better, finishing with 10 points on 3-for-9 shooting.
They also had three turnovers each, as the Orange feasted on Marshall’s miscues. For the game, the Thundering Herd had 19 turnovers.
“They struggled with shooting the ball at times and I think some of it was our defense and they didn’t get a shot for a long time,” Boeheim said. “They are a physical team and a very good rebounding team and are probably up there in the country with rebounds.”