The Parthenon

Herd men’s basketball thrives in front of home crowd

Richard Crank
Herd fans express discontent with a referee's call on the court. This happens frequently at home games.

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Marshall men’s basketball returned home to the Cam Henderson Center over the weekend and won both games in a two-game home stand against Conference USA opponents Florida International and Florida Atlantic.

Marshall has now played 15 of its 17 home games on the 2017-2018 schedule and will play four of its last six regular season games away from the Henderson Center.

The Herd’s only home loss this season—a 112-87 rout by Western Kentucky Jan. 6—marked its fourth home loss in the past two seasons. Herd junior guard Jon Elmore said Herd fans have a key role in the team’s success on the home floor.

“Anytime they get on their feet, we did something that was okay and got the momentum swing,” Elmore said, after an overtime victory over visiting UAB. “I talk with other teams and they dread coming to Huntington just because it’s a hard place to play. Our fans do a great job.”

Marshall’s average home attendance this season is 5,390. The Herd has drawn more than five thousand fans in every in-conference game this season, boosting the average home attendance in C-USA play to 5,850.

This season’s largest crowd came against WKU Jan. 6 when 6,826 fans came to the Henderson Center. The smallest crowd at home came against N.C. Central Nov. 22 (4,572). Head coach Dan D’Antoni said large crowds are a product of the culture built around the program.

“I know that the kids put their heart out there, and that’s when its fun to watch basketball, win or lose,” D’Antoni said. “We’ve built this program to where every year, every game, you’ve got a great team out there and (it) will make you feel good.”

The Herd has just three wins in 10 tries on the road this year. This weekend, Marshall makes its second trip to the Lone Star State in three weeks to play Rice (Thursday) and North Texas (Saturday)

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The Herd, on average, has played in front of slightly larger crowd in its 10 road games (5,580 compared to 5,390). However, Marshall played two games with crowds of over 10,000 people—Xavier (10,431) and Illinois (10,022). In its most recent road trip played in front of only 1,042 fans at UTSA.

Luke Creasy can be contacted at [email protected]

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