Delaware soundly dispatches Towson Tigers defeated, 80-60 in America East quarters

March 01, 1998|By Christian Ewell | Christian Ewell,SUN STAFF

NEWARK, Del. -- Towson has endured its share of heartbreaking losses this season, but yesterday's defeat will hurt for a different reason.

Delaware ended the Tigers' season with a convincing 80-60 victory in an America East tournament quarterfinal.

Towson, which was 1-10 in games decided by five points or less in the regular season, had taken the Blue Hens into overtime before losing in the teams' two regular-season meetings. This time, however, Delaware (18-9) scored 10 consecutive points to open the second half, taking a 53-33 lead with 16: 12 remaining.

"I don't think there was any doubt that the better team won," Towson coach Mike Jaskulski said. "[Delaware] played an outstanding game at both ends of the floor."

The Tigers suffered a setback even before the game started when Derick Newton, who scored 17 points in Friday's win over New Hampshire, was kept out of the starting lineup after a violation of team rules. He finished with a team-high 13 points in 27 minutes.

And senior Ralph Biggs, dominant during the last month of conference play, was contained by Delaware guard Keith Davis, scoring only 12 points in his final college game.

"He just played a good defensive game," Biggs said of Davis. "He was denying me the ball. I just couldn't get it going tonight."

Though both teams shot 44 percent for the game, a 43-29 rebounding advantage allowed Delaware to attempt 72 shots, 22 more than Towson.

All of it equaled defeat for the Tigers, who finished Jaskulski's inaugural season with an 8-20 record.

Forward Mike Pegues scored 15 first-half points on the way to a 23-point performance, including Delaware's first six points of the game. Pegues and Kestutis Marciulionis (17 points) helped key a 13-0 run midway though the first half that put Towson behind 24-10 with 9: 36 left in the half.

Meanwhile, Davis (17 points) scored 11 in the first half, following his misses three times on one possession before scoring to give the Blue Hens a 39-30 lead with 2: 57 remaining in the half.

Towson managed to stay in the game in the first half because of the efforts of Newton, who came off the bench to score nine points at a time when Towson was struggling offensively.

Part of the reason for Towson's lack of offensive punch was the blanketing of Biggs by Davis, resulting in Biggs attempting just three shots in the first half.

Davis said he had some success guarding Biggs in the past by playing aggressively.

"I came in with a better mentality," Davis said. "I was used to playing him physical, and knew that I had to make him play without the basketball."

In other quarterfinal games: Hofstra (19-11) used a late 10-0 run to hold off Hartford (15-12) by 90-79. Hofstra's Craig Claxton scored 33;

Joe Linderman scored nine second-half points as sixth-seeded Drexel (13-14) blanked third-seeded Vermont (16-11) in the final three minutes to take a 51-42 win;

Five players scored in double figures as Boston University (18-10) defeated Northeastern (14-14) by 87-77.

TOWSON -- Biggs 4-9 3-4 12, Lexer 3-7 5-5 11, Hawes 1-3 0-0 2, Wise 2-5 2-2 7, De Pablo 1-6 0-0 3, Kenah 0-0 0-0 0, Barber 1-2 0-0 2, Harris 0-0 0-0 0, Harp 0-0 0-0 0, Newton 6-9 1-2 13, Cason 3-8 0-0 8, Logan 1-1 0-0 2. Totals 22-50 11-13 60.

DELAWARE -- Pegues 9-12 5-6 23, Presley 2-11 2-2 6, Perry 1-6 0-0 3, Davis 7-11 3-4 17, Miller 2-10 2-3 6, Bennett 3-5 0-0 6, Mullen 1-2 0-0 2, Marciulionis 7-14 0-0 17, Arnold 0-0 0-0 0, Gonzalez 0-0 0-0 0, Niang 0-0 0-0 0, Diouf 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 32-72 12-15 80.

Halftime--Delaware 43-33. 3-point goals--Towson 5-18 (Biggs 1-4, Wise 1-3, De Pablo 1-4, Newton 0-2, Cason 2-5), Delaware 4-17 (Perry 1-5, Miller 0-5, Marciulionis 3-7). Fouled out--None. Rebounds--Towson 29 (Biggs 7, Lexer 7), Delaware 43 (Presley 9, Davis 9). Assists--Towson 12 (Wise 4), Delaware 18 (Perry 5). Total fouls--Towson 15, Delaware 16. A--4,044.

America East men's tournament

At Newark, Del.

Friday's first round

Towson 67, New Hampshire 65

Northeastern 74, Maine 54

Yesterday's quarterfinals

Delaware 80, Towson 60

Hofstra 90, Hartford 79

Boston U. 87, Northeastern 77

Drexel 51, Vermont 42

Today's semifinals

Delaware vs. Hofstra, 1 p.m.

Boston U. vs. Drexel, 3: 30 p.m.

Saturday's championship

Semifinal winners at higher seed, 11: 30 a.m.

Pub Date: 3/01/98

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