Michigan game does not a season make for Towson Tigers focus on stepping up against No. 10 S. Carolina

December 25, 1997|By Bill Free | Bill Free,SUN STAFF

Before Towson University stepped onto the floor to play Michigan four weeks ago before an overflow crowd at the Towson Center, team leader and scoring standout Ralph Biggs said, "Win or lose, we can't let Michigan ruin our season."

Biggs understood that the Tigers would be sky-high mentally and emotionally for the Wolverines and would have trouble coming down to earth for the remaining 24 games on their schedule.

Biggs' worst fears are coming true.

After nearly taking Michigan to overtime before losing, 75-72, Towson (2-7) is in a 1-6 slump that includes six straight losses entering Tuesday night's matchup with 10th-ranked South Carolina in Columbia, S.C.

The latest Towson setback came against Creighton by a 79-70 score Monday night and mirrored the other five losses in the streak.

"Every one of those games was decided in the last five minutes," said first-year Towson coach Mike Jaskulski. "Our inability to come up with the big stop here or there has hurt us every time. The toughest was the loss to Loyola. We had a four-point lead with 2 1/2 minutes left, and they [Jason Rowe] made a big three to beat us."

Jaskulski said opponents took a look at the Michigan game and decided to play Towson differently from the way they do other teams.

"Loyola didn't press us at all, and I know they like to use pressure," he said. "And people are playing with a whole lot of intensity against us since the Michigan game. There have been high expectations of us since Michigan."

Loss and gain

Sophomore walk-on Joe Allen, a 6-foot-9 forward, has decided to transfer out of Coppin State.

It is thought that Allen will enroll at Division II Bowie State, where he will get more playing time.

His decision to transfer came right after he got into his first game this season for the Eagles and scored two points in the home opener against Florida A&M last week, a 79-54 win.

Allen played in only seven games last season.

However, former St. Frances point guard Alfonso Jones is now eligible to play for Coppin and will join the team this weekend in Oklahoma City for the All-College Tournament.

Goucher honors

Goucher College junior captain Shannon Towner has been selected to the American Volleyball Coaches Association Mid-Atlantic Region All-America team.

The 5-foot-11 Towner, who attended Loch Raven High, played in 138 games for the 25-15 Gophers this season and had 304 kills, 1,210 assists, 607 digs and 52 blocks.

She was also selected to the Capital Athletic Conference first team as a setter.

Goucher's Jeff Olenick, a freshman from Centennial High, was named the Cross Country Runner of the Year in the Capital Athletic Conference after winning the league's annual meet this fall.

Villa Julie honor

Villa Julie senior Karen Crowley, daughter of former Orioles pinch-hitting standout Terry Crowley, has been selected to the 1997 National Field Hockey Coaches Association Division III Academic squad.

To be chosen for this team, a player needs to have a minimum grade-point average of 3.3 and be a varsity starter or a significant reserve.

Crowley was second in points for Villa Julie this season with nine goals and seven assists. .

Back at Coppin

Walk-on sophomore point guard Charron Beckham is now eligible to return to the Coppin State women's basketball team and will be in uniform when the Eagles play at Delaware State on Jan. 3.

Beckham was a backup point guard last season and played in 20 games.

Pub Date: 12/25/97

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