Maybe it's the awkward way he launches his shot from behind his right ear, but for whatever reason, Brooklyn College didn't seem to respect the shooting ability of Towson State guard Terrance Alexander.
That was fine with Alexander, who responded with a career-high 26 points and helped spark the second-half rally that carried the Tigers to a 96-56 win yesterday before 979 at the Towson Center.
It was the third straight win for Towson and was the team's largest margin of victory over a Division I opponent. Brooklyn lost its fifth straight in the East Coast Conference game.
Alexander, a graduate of Dunbar, scored his 26 points on 10-for-18 shooting from the field, including four of eight three-pointers.
"I knew they would play zone, but I didn't know how tight it would be," said Alexander, whose previous career high was a 25-point outing against Buffalo. "I was looking for my shot and I knew I was hot when he [coach Terry Truax] called a few plays for me to shoot the three."
Especially after Alexander hit his first two threes to give the Tigers a 6-0 lead. By halftime, Alexander led all scorers with 14 points (six of 10 from the field), but the game had not yet reached blowout status as the Tigers went into the locker room with a 32-24 lead.
"I looked at it to be a dangerous game because they had more conference wins then we did," Truax said of the tight first half. "I felt we needed to come out and put more pressure on their guards."
That strategy yielded immediate dividends at the start of the second half as the Tigers, sparked by their pressure defense, opened the half with a 24-6 run -- capped by Alexander's fourth three-pointer -- to take a commanding 56-30 lead just more than five minutes into the half.
By the midway point of the second half the only people smiling on the Brooklyn bench were the reserves. With 11:15 left, Brooklyn coach Ron Kestenbaum cleared his bench with his team down 67-32.
"I was just trying to get five guys who wanted to go out and make an effort to play," Kestenbaum said. "I hate to say it, but I think we just quit. When they scored the first five points to start the second half, we just put our heads down and gave up."
Two other Towson players scored in double figures, with Terrance Jacobs scoring 21 and Chuck Lightening adding 13 in 24 minutes. But the player who made the most impact was Alexander, who found himself all alone for most of his jumpers.
"When I first got here I was just driving, driving, driving because I felt I could always get the two," Alexander said. "You can do that in high school, but you can't get by the big men in college. You have to shoot the three to be more effective."
The Tigers take a break from conference action on Monday when they play at Loyola in a battle of Baltimore-area rivals.