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The teams went into halftime with identical rebounding statistics _ 18 total and five offensive _ and the Herd finished with a 46-33 edge. Marshall outrebounded Syracuse, 15-3, on the offensive end after halftime.

“We didn’t take care of the ball early,” said Marshall forward Dennis Tinnon, who had 17 points and 15 rebounds.

The Herd’s 73-69 win over the Bearcats was the first over a BCS conference team since a 69-66 triumph over Texas A&M in December 1989, and may just spark the program to a solid season in a mediocre Conference USA.

But against the No. 3 team in the nation, the Herd simply ran out of gas. Marshall, in fact, couldn’t recover from 12 turnovers in the opening half and finished with 19, never getting any rhythm against the famous Syracuse zone. Marshall shot 20.8 percent (5 of 24) from beyond the arc, but all five came in the final 5 minutes to help make the game close.

“Our defense was really good the entire game,” Boeheim said. “They didn’t make anything, which helps.”

Syracuse used a 22-6 spurt in the first half to take charge and held on at the end when Tinnon converted a three-point play and Shaquille Johnson hit a pair of 3s _ all in the final 65 seconds.

“We didn’t play smart or pretty at times, but we played with great heart on the road,” Marshall coach Tom Herrion said. “We don’t believe in moral victories. We’re past that.

“But we have a lot of good things to build on.”

Waiters started the early surge with a steal and dunk to break a 6-all tie, Joseph followed with a 3 from the left wing off a nice feed from C. J. Fair, and Jardine’s pullup jumper from the right side made it 18-10.

Brandon Triche then scored twice on layups off Marshall turnovers, and grabbed another mishandled ball by Johnson and fed Waiters for a one-handed slam and a 26-12 lead with 5: 40 to go in the half.

The Herd rallied briefly with six straight points. Robert Goff’s basket closed the gap to 28-18 before James Southerland’s 3 from the right wing gave the Orange a 31-18 halftime lead. Marshall never inched closer than nine until the final minute.

Boeheim was given rousing ovations when he made his way onto the court that bears his name the previous two games. On this night, though, nobody seemed to notice as he walked to greet Herrion.

After initially vilifying the two former ballboys when they went public with their claims, a drawn-looking Boeheim apologized in a halting voice after Friday night’s 72-68 win over Florida.

Boeheim said he’d campaign against child abuse, even though he knows his motives will be questioned.

“We believed in helping kids long before this. I’m sure people are always going to question why you do something, but we’re going to do this and continue to do it,” said Boeheim, who last week toured a local center with his wife, Juli, that’s dedicated to ending child abuse.

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