HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (UCFAthletics.com) - Despite 24 points from Keith Clanton, UCF had its four-game winning streak come to an end Saturday afternoon as Marshall took a 75-71 victory at the Cam Henderson Center. The game featured 16 lead changes and 11 ties before the Thundering Herd pulled away late.
UCF (15-6, 5-2 Conference USA) finished with a 41-29 rebounding advantage, but was held to 41.3 percent shooting as the Herd (10-12, 3-4) used its size and length to block 14 shots.
The hosts broke a 60-60 tie with 3:51 left when Elijah Pittman drained a 3-pointer and quickly built its lead to four points with 2:37 remaining after Nigel Spikes scored inside. The Knights got no closer than three points the rest of the way.
"I thought our guys competed...we had a shot to beat them," UCF head coach Donnie Jones said. "It was 60 to 60 with four to go, and they hit a big three there. We had our chances. We took long threes and didn't get defensive stops at the end. Give Marshall credit, they found a way to win."
The Knights led by four points with 6:56 to play after baskets from Isaiah Sykes and Calvin Newell (19 points), but Marshall responded with a Pittman layup and a pair of free throws from Spikes to tie the game.
Clanton shot 9-of-15 from the floor and added a game-high nine rebounds and two blocks in just under 40 minutes before fouling out. He scored 16 points in the opening stanza.
The game was the second of the week on the road for the Knights, who defeated Tulane, 58-50, in New Orleans Wednesday.
After a sloppy start to the game, Clanton got the Knights rolling when he scored all seven points during a 7-2 UCF run. Sykes found the senior on a break for a layup that capped the run and gave the Knights a 27-24 advantage with six minutes on the clock.
UCF shot 36.1 percent in the first half and grabbed 14 offensive rebounds before taking a 33-32 edge into intermission.
Sykes finished with 10 points, five rebounds, four assists and three steals.
Marshall shot 51.9 percent overall and was led by Pittman's 20 points. Spikes recorded 11 points and nine swats.
Newell and Sykes did a solid job defensively on Marshall star DeAndre Kane. The guard, who entered the game averaging 15 points, was limited to six points on 2-of-10 shooting and committed five turnovers.
UCF will return to Orlando for a pair of games next week, starting with a 7 p.m. Wednesday contest against Southern Miss.