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Thomas scores 21 as Marshall tops Florida Atlantic 63-59, advances in C-UCA tourney

Chris Thomas scored 21 points and grabbed seven rebounds as No. 14 seed Marshall topped 11th-seeded Florida Atlantic 63-59 in a first round game of the Conference USA tournament Tuesday night.

Kareem Canty added 12 points for Marshall (11-21), which will face sixth-seeded Old Dominion on Wednesday.

The Thundering Herd overcame a poor shooting performance (24-of-63 from the field and 5-of-20 from 3-point range) by forcing 15 FAU turnovers and grabbing 14 offensive rebounds.

Marshall took a 36-29 lead into halftime and 3-pointers by Canty and Thomas pushed the Thundering Herd's lead to 11 with 8:32 remaining.

The Owls used a 9-0 run to pull within two, 55-53, with 3:52 to play but would get no closer.

Thomas and Tamron Manning each made a pair of free throws in the final minute to hold off Florida Atlantic (10-22).

Marquan Botley scored 26 and Pablo Bertone added 21 for the Owls.