Cason dishes Towson past Del., 86-79 Ex-Southern star leads break from losing ways

February 23, 1997|By Bill Free | Bill Free,SUN STAFF

Damon Cason was a Baltimore high school basketball standout at Southern High two years ago, but life hasn't been too kind to him at Towson State due to various injuries.

But maybe Cason's luck began to change last night when he came down court against Delaware with 1 minute, 12 seconds left and made a crowd-pleasing no-look pass to Ralph Biggs for a flying dunk that helped carry the Tigers to an 86-79 victory over the Blue Hens in an America East game at Towson State.

Cason was looking to his right all the time on the fast break, never once letting on that he knew Biggs was speeding down the left side of the court.

Cason even bobbed his head to the right before suddenly whipping the basketball to Biggs on the left for the jam that pushed Towson ahead 80-73, and sent the crowd into a frenzy in the final regular-season game for the Tigers.

Maybe, just maybe it was the spark a somewhat listless Towson State team (8-18, 5-13 America East) has been searching for all season.

"Anything we do positive is welcome," said Towson State coach Terry Truax, whose team will enter the America East tournament Friday at the University of Delaware as the 10th and last seed.

It's a far cry from the days the Tigers were going to the NCAA tournament and giving powers such as Ohio State and Oklahoma a scare before falling in opening-round games.

But possibly Cason, a freshman who received a medical redshirt last season because of a separated shoulder, has given Towson State some kind of momentum heading into the tournament.

"I made that no-look many times at Southern but never here," said Cason. "I've just had too many injuries to get into a flow, but now I think I'm there. It was great to see Ralph finish the play off with a big dunk."

Cason also tossed in a three-point jumper with 4: 59 left to give Towson State a 69-66 lead in the duel with Delaware (14-15, 8-10) in which neither team ever had more than a six-point lead.

Cason, who didn't start last night and only has one start at Towson State, finished with nine points in 21 minutes to support the big scorers for the Tigers.

Junior Ryan Lexer tied a career high for Towson State, scoring 24 points to lead the winners and Biggs tossed in 20 points. Greg Smith had 25 points and 10 rebounds for Delaware.

Derick Newton added 14 for Towson, which made a little bit of NCAA history by playing the last collegiate game on synthetic surface. Towson will cover its Chemturf surface with a portable wood floor before next season.

Pub Date: 2/23/97

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