Towson women take giant step, 62-58 win Perry sparks upset of league leader Vermont

January 30, 1998|By Jamison Hensley | Jamison Hensley,CONTRIBUTING WRITER

For the past two weeks, the Towson University women's basketball team looked at its 22-point loss to Vermont as an aberration. Last night, the Tigers proved it.

Shniece Perry scored a career-best 17 points as Towson upset the Catamounts, 62-58, in an America East game at the Towson Center.

Towson (11-8, 7-4), which matched last season's win total, also ended Vermont's nine-game winning streak, bumping the Catamounts (13-5, 8-2) out of a first-place tie with Maine.

"This is the biggest win we have had and the biggest for the program," Towson coach Ellen Fitzkee said. "You have to give us a lot of credit. Vermont is a good team and we made them look bad tonight."

Towson continually frustrated Vermont, the conference's top scoring team, which shot 39 percent (22 of 57) and committed 19 turnovers.

Towson never surrendered the lead, although Vermont tied the contest at 38 early in the second half and made a late charge.

Karalyn Church, who had 32 points, scored 12 of Vermont's 13 points in a stretch that cut the Catamounts' deficit to 56-54 with 2 1/2 minutes remaining. But the Tigers held Vermont to just one field goal the rest of the way while going 4-for-6 from the foul line to hold off the Catamounts.

In the loss two weeks ago, Towson pointed to the limited play of three starters. Beside losing Perry nine minutes into that game with an ankle injury, the Tigers played most of it without Danita Smith (stomach flu) and Jess Gordon (foul trouble). Last night, they proved to be the difference.

Perry, who made eight of nine shots, had nine rebounds and five steals, and Gordon and Smith combined for 17 points.

"It's a step in the right direction," Fitzkee said. "We showed what happens when we put a 40-minute effort on the court."

Towson took its biggest lead of the game at 36-23 when it ended the first half on a 12-2 run, including scoring the last eight points. Six Tigers players scored in that spurt.

"Give Towson credit. They took us out of our rhythm," Vermont coach Keith Cieplicki said. "They got buckets we usually don't allow. They did the little things to win that we usually do."

VERMONT -- Kirvin 1-8 2-3 4, Zornow 3-7 0-0 6, Church 13-21 6-8 32, Taylor 0-4 1-2 1, Cronin 4-12 2-2 12, Conrad 1-3 1-2 3, Burke 0-1 0-0 0, Dodge 0-1 0-2 0. Totals 22-57 12-19 58.

TOWSON -- Perry 8-9 1-2 17, Keiner 4-14 4-4 12, Gordon 3-7 3-3 9, Joyner 1-10 3-5 5, Smith 4-6 0-0 8, Wright 0-4 0-0 0, McGowan 1-1 0-0 2, Lanigan 1-6 1-2 3, Pilione 1-5 0-0 2, Stevens 2-5 0-0 4. Totals 25-67 12-16 62.

Halftime--Towson 36-23. 3-point goals--UV 2-17 (Kirvin 0-4, Church 0-1, Taylor 0-4, Cronin 2-8). TU 0-6 (Keiner 0-3, Smith 0-1, Lanigan 0-1, Pilione 0-1). Fouled out--None. Rebounds--UV 42 (Zornow 10), TU 41 (Stevens 10). Assists--UV 13 (Taylor 8), TU 14 (Joyner, Lanigan 4). Total fouls--UV 18, TU 17. A--532.

Pub Date: 1/30/98

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