There was only a small crowd in the stands at the FedEx Forum in Memphis, Tenn., for the Conference USA tournament game between the No. 6-seeded Marshall Thundering Herd and the No. 3-seeded Tulsa Golden Hurricane, but the small crowd got a big treat. Marshall won by a final score of 105-100 after three overtime periods and 71 fouls.
Dago Pena finally broke the stalemate, as both teams started to run low on players. He hit a three-pointer at the 2:20 mark of the third overtime to give Marshall a 97-95 lead that they would not relinquish.
You read that correctly, by the way. A total of 71 fouls were called over the course of the game, ranging from the obvious to nitpicking. Marshall players Robert Goff, Shaquille Johnson, Yous Mbao, Damier Pitts and Nigel Spikes all fouled out. Tulsa lost Jordan Clarkson, Kodi Maduka, D.J. Magley and Joe Richard.
DeAndre Kane led the way for Marshall. With 12 seconds left in the second overtime, Kane went coast-to-coast, making a layup that tied the game again at 86-86. He stole the ball from Eric McClellan with two seconds left, but Marshall failed to get out of the backcourt to attempt another shot before the game went to a third overtime.
Kane finished the game with 40 points on 15-of-32 shooting, seven rebounds, three assists, three steals and just one turnover in 54 minutes of playing time. Dennis Tinnon had a double-double, scoring 14 points and grabbing 12 rebounds in the effort, his second straight game with double-digit rebounds.
McClellan led Tulsa with 25 points. Shockingly, he had just one foul, making one of only two players from both teams to finish with a single foul. Steven Idlet finished with 20 points.
Marshall advances to play the No. 2-seeded Southern Miss. Golden Eagles in the semifinals on Friday at 4 p.m.