MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Marshall outlasted Tulsa 105-100 in the first triple-overtime game in the 17-year history of the Conference USA tournament in Thursday's quarterfinals.
"My guys know I reference boxing a lot," said Thundering Herd coach Tom Herrion, "and that one was like the old days with Ali and Frazier and those cats, when they used to go at it."
DeAndre Kane scored a career-high 40 points, making 15 of 32 shots for the sixth-seeded Thundering Herd (20-12).
"Everyone had the chance to witness a classic with that one," Herrion said.
Marshall, which advanced to the C-USA tournament semifinals for the first time, will play Southern Mississippi on Friday.
Dago Pena's four-point play with 2:20 left in the third overtime started an 11-3 Thundering Herd run. Dennis Tinnon had six points and Kane five in the final period.
"That was huge," Herrion said of Pena's play. "That one might have been the one that broke their back a little bit. It gave us a great jolt of confidence."
Tulsa coach Doug Wojcik said Marshall, particularly Kane, just made more plays down the stretch.
"We had plenty of chances to win the game," Wojcik said. "We just couldn't put it away."
Kane also scored seven points in the final 31 seconds of the second overtime after the third-seeded Golden Hurricane (17-14) went ahead 83-79. Kane, whose 15 made field goals were a tournament record, played 54 of the 55 minutes and surpassed the 1,000-point mark for his career.
"He was in complete control of the game, late," Herrion said. "He had the ball in his hands, we ran clock and he drove that thing. He played with great purpose down the stretch."
Kane said that with the Thundering Herd down by four and needing to foul, "I looked at coach and said, 'Let me shoot a 3,' but he said, 'No, keep driving the ball.' I just kept going to the basket, made a few lay ups and got a few calls. It wasn't just me though, our bench stepped up. It was a team effort today."
The 205 combined points were a tournament record and the game also marked the first time in tournament history that both teams scored at least 100 points.
Shaquille Johnson added 25 points for Marshall, including 14 of 18 free throws.
Eric McClellan scored 25 points for Tulsa and Steven Idlet added 20, making 14 of 18 from the line.
The teams combined to make 68 of 101 free throws with Tulsa going 40 of 58 from the line, both tournament records.
Five Marshall players and four Tulsa players fouled out.
"The fouls just went back and forth, back and forth," said McClellan. "It's hard as a player to get into rhythm when you have plays like that during the game, especially late in the game."
Wojcik said Marshall had an advantage because Tinnon stayed in the game, and then Jamir Hanner gave the Thundering Herd another body with some athleticism.
"At that point I just had no more guys left," Wojcik said. "It's hard, the whole thing is hard. Classic game though."