It was a tale of two halves in El Paso on Wednesday, as the Cougars played a competitive first half, taking a 36-33 lead on Marshall, but after the break could not stop the Thundering Herd from dominating the offensive boards, or from raining three-pointers, en route to a 97-87 Marshall victory.
If those factors weren't enough, Houston also helped dig its own grave by continually missing its free throws - the Cougars finished 21-of-32 from the charity stripe. (Aside from point guard Zamal Nixon's 12-of-12 performance, Houston's shooting percentage was even worse.)
The game marked the final appearance in a Cougar uniform for seniors Adam Brown, Maurice McNeil, Nixon, and Cory Tellis.
The loss was Houston's 12th in the last 13 contests, and was typical of the second half of the season for a team that showed occasional flashes of ability, but could never put together a complete game. Their final record was 12-18, including a 4-12 mark in C-USA play.
Marshall, who was led by Damier Pitts' 28 points, advances to face host UTEP in the second round of the C-USA tournament on Thursday.