Boyd fattens up at expense of UMBC Guard scores 46 in double-OT win

February 28, 1993|By Paul McMullen | Paul McMullen,Staff Writer

He couldn't have done it in December, when he wa overweight and out of shape.

It's tournament time in his senior year, however, and Towson State's Devin Boyd is primed for a big finish to what has been one of the best careers in Baltimore basketball history. He made the most of his last area appearance yesterday, dropping in a career-high 46 points to lift the Tigers past UMBC, 97-92, in double overtime at the Retrievers' fieldhouse.

The NCAA record book doesn't list points by a player in an overtime, so there's no telling if the 17 he had in the second extra session have any national significance. They were quite telling to Boyd, who missed all but last season's opener with an elbow injury and started this season nearly 20 pounds over his normal playing weight. He played 45 minutes, and three of the five he rested came in the first half.

"I doubt I could have done that in December," said Boyd, who raised his scoring average to 23.2 and his career point total to 1,980. "I wasn't in shape to play 40 minutes then, let alone two overtimes. I can go the whole game now."

The 46 broke the Big South Conference record of 44 set earlier this season by Coastal Carolina's Tony Dunkin, the league's three-time Player of the Year. It was also a UMBC Fieldhouse record, and the second-highest point total in Towson State history, behind the 51 scored by Larry Witherspoon 20 years ago.

Boyd's heroics in the regular-season finale for both teams stretched Towson State's win streak to nine games, and the top-seeded Tigers (18-8, 14-2) expect to match their Division I record of 10 in a row against the No. 8 or 9 seed in the Big South quarterfinals Thursday. It was Towson State's seventh win in its last eight games against UMBC (11-15, 7-9). The Retrievers finished in sixth place, and will play Campbell in the first round. The tournament will be held in Charleston, S.C.

The 6-foot-1 Boyd, a Walbrook High grad, was 10-for-22 from the floor and 22-for-26 at the line, making his last 17 in a row. The guard's 26 free throws attempted and 22 made are school records. The Tigers, who attempted 49 free throws to UMBC's 28, are 14-0 when they go to the line more than the opposition.

Boyd, playing in front of his mother, Lorraine, and 2,117 other fans, had 27 points in regulation and a pair of free throws in the first overtime, which culminated in Dana Harris' three-pointer with four seconds left that forced a tie at 76. Boyd scored Towson State's first 15 points in the second overtime, the biggest a three-pointer from the right of the key with 1:30 remaining that broke an 86-86 tie and put the Tigers on top for good.

"He's got the green light," said UMBC senior forward Brian Watkins, who delivered a candidate for CNN's Play of the Day at the end of regulation.

The teams were tied at 69 with two seconds left when Watkins in-bounded from in front of the Tigers' bench, 75 feet from the Retrievers' basket. The ambidextrous Watkins shoots left-handed, but he threw a right-handed baseball pass off the backboard and cleanly in. It's no basket in that situation, but Towson State couldn't do anything with the last possession.

Watkins' basket that wasn't added to a bizarre affair that Towson State didn't seem to want and UMBC couldn't take. The Tigers' Larry Brown, a senior who has started 24 games, was out with the flu, and starting center John James fouled out in regulation, so coach Terry Truax used four guards at one point.

The small lineup worked. Sonique Nixon scored only one of his UMBC-leading 19 points in the final 15 minutes. Retriever point guard Dana Harris had 18 and nine assists. Scooter Alexander had 21 points for Towson State, which got 12 points and a game-high 11 rebounds from Matt Campbell.

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