Eager Robinson fills unlikely hero role

January 31, 1995|By Gary Lambrecht | Gary Lambrecht,Sun Staff Writer

DeRon Robinson was sitting, but his body language seemed to say it was time for more basketball. One hand slapped nervously on his thigh. Both feet bounced on the floor.

And Robinson was trying to piece together the moments that formed the greatest night of his young collegiate career. Towson State could not have pulled off a stunning 81-69 upset of Louisville last night without the steady, productive Ralph Blalock, who scored a game-high 26 points.

But games like last night's so often are won with the help of unlikely heroes, and Robinson, a 6-foot sophomore guard from Nashville, Tenn., fit that role beautifully.

He came into the game averaging 7.6 points and 13 minutes, but Robinson gave the Tigers 20 unforgettable minutes. He scored 20 points on 6-for-8 shooting and 8-for-9 shooting at the foul line. He jump-started the Tigers in the first half, when they trailed by 11 with seven minutes left, helping them pull within 36-33 with two outside jumpers and two layups that he started with steals.

And he beat Louisville by slashing to the basket, going to the foul line and converting seven of eight free throws down the stretch.

His first free throws gave the Tigers a 60-59 lead with 7:51 left.

His last two made it 72-64 with 1:36 left.

"Not since high school have I had a win like this," Robinson said. "I knew I could do it. I just needed the [playing] time. He [coach Terry Truax] gave me the time. If anything, the Louisville game was the best time to give me that chance."

Said Truax: "Obviously, DeRon played extremely well. He is very aggressive, particularly on offense. I think he is learning and maturing as fast as any student-athlete I've ever had. He's letting the game come to him more instead of trying to make the big play all the time."

After Quinton Moody (Cardinal Gibbons) hit a three-pointer to cut Louisville's lead to 59-58, Robinson made both ends of a one-and-one that gave Towson State its first lead since the Tigers led 10-9.

"I had to get everybody into the game, and that's what I did," Robinson said.

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