Barber's soaring 2nd half helps Towson clip Vermont, 74-67

Team's 54 after break nets 3rd straight comeback

January 19, 2000|By Bill Free | Bill Free,SUN STAFF

A sometimes laid-back Towson University basketball team turned a dull America East game into something of a highlights film with a 54-point second-half explosion that sent Vermont to a 74-67 defeat last night at the Towson Center.

Brian Barber scored 21 of his game-high 26 points in an acrobatic second half, enabling Towson to overcome a 27-20 halftime deficit and giving the home team its sixth come-from-behind victory this season, and third in a row.

This latest comeback was a big one as it pushed Towson (9-7) to a 5-3 league record heading into Saturday night's showdown at two-time defending America East champion Delaware. The Tigers have already surpassed last season's league win total (4-14) and stand in fifth place after being picked to finish ninth.

Even a usually conservative Towson coach Mike Jaskulski was prompted to gloat a little.

"If I don't screw this thing up, we have a chance to be pretty good," said Jaskulski. "I just have to keep pushing the right buttons. I like the character of these guys and we have a lot more weapons this season than in the past."

Barber wasn't the lone showman in the second half for the Tigers, as three-point marksman Raul de Pablo tossed in four shots from beyond the arc.

There was also a career-high 10-point effort by 6-foot-7 sophomore transfer Mike Shin, who used his wide 245-pound body to throw some bone-crunching picks inside to help open up the outside game for de Pablo.

But it was Barber who left a lasting impression on Vermont (5-8, 2-5) with his crowd-pleasing alley-oop dunks and layups. "My teammates came out ready to play in the second half," said Barber, "so I decided I better get going."

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