Towson beats Charleston Southern, 75-58 Pressure defense key for Tigers

January 26, 1993|By Rich Scherr | Rich Scherr,Contributing Writer

After a lackluster start, Towson State awoke, using a full-court pressure defense to account for 12 unanswered points in the second half en route to a 75-58 win over Charleston Southern in a Big South Conference game before 1,217 at Towson Center.

"Our defense really made the difference," said Towson State coach Terry Truax, whose team forced 26 turnovers. "This was a case where our innate quickness was a big factor."

But Towson State first had to withstand an early fouling spree.

Charleston Southern -- which set a conference record Saturday at UMBC by committing 35 personal fouls -- picked up where it left off, fouling at will in attempts to throw off the Tigers' running game.

And, for a while, it worked.

The Buccaneers shut down the Towson State offense early, holding the Tigers to three field goals in their first 17 attempts, and matched them point for point the first 15 minutes.

But when Towson turned up the pressure, Charleston Southern threw away the game.

The Buccaneers committed turnover after turnover, succumbing to Towson's double teams in the backcourt, and the Tigers blew open the game with a 34-5 run that gave them a 48-21 lead well into the second half.

The Tigers hit 15 of 25 foul shots in the first half, and led 34-21 at halftime.

Towson made a season-high 22 steals, three shy of the school record set in 1988-89 against Gettysburg, and made it nearly impossible for the Buccaneers to gain any rhythm on offense.

Guards Scooter Alexander (24) and Devin Boyd (23) scored 47 of Towson's points, many on layups off turnovers by Charleston Southern (5-9, 2-5).

Led by forward Matt Campbell (seven steals), and guards Boyd (six) and Alexander (four), the Tigers shut down Charleston Southern and Big South Conference scoring leader Darnell Sneed, holding him to 17 points, but only one field goal in the first half.

Trailing 16-14 with 6:34 left in the half, Truax called a timeout to install the press. For the next 10 minutes, it was lights out for Charleston Southern.

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