Towson out of gas

JMU fills it up

Dukes shoot 57 percent, use 15-2 run to rout flat Tigers, 93-79, in their home finale

February 22, 2000|By Bill Free | Bill Free,SUN STAFF

It was a bad night for the Towson University basketball team to run out of "juice" at the Towson Center.

A bigger, stronger and more talented James Madison squad was in town, and the Dukes ran circles around the Tigers with an upscale attack that featured the quickness of guards Jabari Outtz and Jamar Perry and the inside bulk of Pat Mitchell and Ian Caskill.

Outtz and Perry penetrated the lane repeatedly and dished off to Mitchell and Caskill for high-percentage shots that led to a 56.9 percent shooting show by James Madison on the way to a 93-79 nonconference victory over Towson, ending the Tigers' bid for a winning regular-season record.

Towson had lost a grueling game to Delaware on Saturday night, but coach Mike Jaskulski was in no mood for alibis.

"There are no excuses tonight," Jaskulski said. "Physically, we had no juice. We were atrocious defensively. We had 38 points in the first half and that should have been an eight-point lead instead of being four down. I knew we were in trouble when Brian Barber went up for that rather easy layup and almost fell down. It was almost like he had rubber legs."

Towson (11-14) has only two regular-season games left, finishing on the road against Hartford and Vermont. Despite showing signs of improvement lately, Towson has lost five of its past six games.

In most of those losses, the Tigers have been hampered by long scoring droughts, and last night was no different. Towson was down 61-60 with 9: 39 left when James Madison (18-7) went on a 15-2 run that virtually wiped out any hope for the home team.

The Colonial Athletic Association leaders' surge included a bad defensive breakdown and a costly turnover off an inbounds pass. The defensive foulup occurred when James Madison was on top 64-62 and Mickey Dennis had the ball out front for the Dukes.

Towson's Josh Davalli, one of four Tigers playing their final home game, was trying to handle the bulky 6-foot-7 Mitchell inside when Davalli slipped and fell. Dennis got the ball to Mitchell for an easy layup and the rout was on.

Mitchell finished with a game-high 23 points for James Madison and Outtz and Perry combined for 40 points and 11 assists.

The loss overshadowed an outstanding home finale for three-point marksman Raul de Pablo, who hit six of 10 beyond the arc.

"It could have been a movie-like ending for me," said de Pablo. "But it didn't happen and now I hope the movie continues in the America East tournament where we put it all together and win."

JAMES MADISON -- Dennis 3-7 4-4 10, Lyle 0-1 0-0 0, Strickland 0-2 0-0 0, Perry 6-8 5-5 19, Outtz 8-16 3-3 21, Hatter 0-1 0-0 0, Braxton 1-1 0-0 3, Fabbubg 1-2 0-0 20, Riddick 0-0 0-0 0, Johnson 3-5 1-2 7, Mitchell 8-12 7-7 23, Caskill 3-3 1-2 7 Totals 33-58 21-23 93.

TOWSON -- Ragin 0-1 0-0 0, Davalli 1-3 2-2 5, Shin 3-5 3-3 9, de Pablo 6-10 2-2 20, Cason 2-6 0-0 6, Allen 2-3 2-4 8, Bar ber 4-9 11-13 19 Holtz 4-14 3-3 12, Augustus 0-0 0-0 0, Totals 22-51 23-27 79.

Half--Madison, 43-38. 3-point goals--JMU 6-13 (Outtz 2-4, Perry 2-3, Braxton 1-1, Fabbubg 1-2, Dennis 0-2, Lyle 0-1); T 12-21 (dePablo 6-10, Allen 2-2, Cason 2-3, Davalli 1-2, Holtz 1-4). Rebounds--JMU (Caskill 7); T (Holtz 7). Assists--JMU (Outtz 8); T (Cason, Allen 3). Total fouls--JMU 20, T 18. A--1,558.

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