Towson opens Big South in big way with 85-64 win Tigers overwhelm UNC-Asheville

January 12, 1993|By Milton Kent | Milton Kent,Staff Writer

With no disrespect to the opposition intended, Towson State basketball coach Terry Truax didn't watch very much film of North Carolina-Asheville before last night's game.

Likewise, the pre-game talk was intentionally short, as Truax figured that after Saturday's loss to Delaware, he wouldn't need to say very much. His players would take care of the details.

And they did, as the Tigers kicked off their affiliation with the Big South Conference with an 85-64 win over the Bulldogs at Towson Center.

"I wouldn't have cared if we were playing the Chicago Bulls [last night]. I just wanted to our kids to play better. . . . We got a good team effort," said Truax.

The Tigers (4-6, 1-0) indeed turned in a solid team effort, shooting 52 percent from the floor, and forcing UNC-Asheville (2-7, 0-2) into 24 turnovers.

The Towson backcourt of Devin Boyd and Terrance Alexander was especially sharp, as Boyd bounced back from Saturday's sub-par performance against Delaware with 24 points, while Alexander had 18, including four when the Bulldogs threatened late in the contest.

"Devin and Scooter [Alexander] are very talented players and I don't want them to do the least they can and just get by," said Truax.

Boyd, who had just 10 points against Delaware, was brilliant -- forcing steals, hitting jumpers and driving to the basket.

"I was in a slump, but the coaching staff helped me break out of it by helping me work on what I needed to," said Boyd.

The Tigers, up by seven at halftime, led by as many as 15 only to see the Bulldogs, who hit 34 percent of their three-pointers, use the bonus shot to close the gap.

"It's hard to put a three-point shooting team away. If you get up by 15, they can hit two threes and you're only up nine," said Alexander.

But Alexander hit two shots within 16 seconds after a Towson timeout with less than five minutes left. Boyd then put the game away in the final two minutes with six points off steals and layups after the Tigers broke the UNC-Asheville press.

The first half was evenly contested, if not well-played, as the teams could string together consecutive baskets only one time each.

John James' tip-in with 13 minutes left in the half gave Towson an 11-8 lead, which they would not relinquish for the rest of the period.

Reserve forward Matt Campbell got a layup, then hit a tough shot to put the Tigers ahead, 19-14, with 7:08 left in the first half.

Boyd, who had been strangely silent for most of the half, came alive with a three-point play, two free throws and a three-pointer within a 1:15 span late in the half to boost the Towson lead to 10.

After Alexander hit a pull-up jumper in the lane with 1:51 left to give the Tigers a 33-21 lead, the Bulldogs made a run with two free throws from guard Josh Kohn, a three-pointer from forward Burt Jenkins and a layup by center Jabe O'Neill to cut their deficit to five at 33-28.

But O'Neill made an ill-advised inbound pass with five seconds left, which Boyd gobbled up and laid in, giving Towson a 35-28 halftime lead.

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