On the night he was hailed as the newest member of Towson State's 1,000-point club, Devin Boyd had a dandy response.
It was two weeks ago against Rider that Boyd became the Tigers' 14th 1,000-point scorer. It wasn't until last night, however, that he was saluted for reaching that milestone, receiving a basketball in a pre-game ceremony.
The 6-foot-2 junior guard out of Walbrook High then erupted for a career-high 38 points to lead Towson to an 88-84 overtime victory over Delaware before 2,076 boisterous spectators at the Towson Center.
Boyd's output was a record for a Tigers player at the 15-year-old Towson Center. Three visitors have scored more. Lehigh's Daren Queenan heads the list with his 49 against Bucknell in the 1987 East Coast Conference tourney.
In the two weeks since he reached 1,000, Boyd has advanced from 14th on Towson's all-time list to No. 9 with 1,133 points behind Steffan Bunsavage (1,155 from 1982-86). He's the ECC's third-leading scorer at 21.3.
"I like to have the ball in Devin's hands," said coach Terry Truax. "He's the best player I've had in terms of strength and explosiveness in taking the ball to the basket. He seldom gets a shot blocked and he's a good free throw shooter [16 of 19 last night]."
Said Delaware guard Kevin Blackhurst, "Boyd took me to the FTC hole every time. He's by far the best guard in the conference. When the team needs something, it comes to him."
Boyd was at his best in the last few minutes of regulation. The Tigers trailed, 68-64, whereupon Boyd scored seven of the team's last 11 points to help forge a 73-73 tie.
"Time was running out and I felt I had to do something, create," Boyd said.
In those moments, Boyd and Terrance Jacobs, who scored 24 points and hit the three-pointer that created the tie, said they think back to Towson's game against Bucknell here Jan. 4.
"We were down by five points with seven seconds left," Boyd said, "and won by one."
There are times, Truax feels, when Boyd assumes too much responsibility. One such time was in the first half when Truax yanked him and admonished him on the bench.
"When we're not moving, he feels he has to make things happen. But he's got to learn to make more judicious decisions about when to give the ball up."
The Tigers may be sorry to see this month end. They have won seven straight, the longest winning streak since the 1977-78 team ticked off 17 in a row. They lead the ECC with a 7-0 record and have captured 13 straight conference games dating back to last season.
"One thing that impresses me," Truax said, "is that at times we don't play well and still come out on top. Some of this might be a carryover from last year when we won the ECC."