MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) -- Damier Pitts scored all 16 of his points in the second half to help Marshall defeat Southern Methodist 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.
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.
Johnson added 15 points and Dennis Tinnon had 15 rebounds for Marshall, which will play third-seeded Tulsa in the quarterfinals Thursday.
Rodney Clinkscales led SMU with 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.
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