Towson is back on track, beating Del. State, 64-57

Balanced scoring helps end 4-game Tigers slide

January 03, 2002|By Glenn P. Graham | Glenn P. Graham,SUN STAFF

With the new year, the Towson University men's basketball team recorded a season's first last night: a halftime lead.

Afterward, the Tigers were able to add 20 more solid minutes, putting an end to a four-game slide with a 64-57 win over visiting Delaware State to improve to 4-8 overall and remain perfect at Towson Center at 3-0.

Junior guard Brian Allen led a balanced Towson attack, scoring all 15 of his team-high points in the second half to help the Tigers maintain a safe cushion after taking an eight-point lead into the break.

Senior forward Sam Sutton enjoyed his third double double of the season with 11 points and 12 rebounds, and junior forward Keon Blanks added a career-high 12 points in the win.

"We talk about daily improvement and we spent the last couple days really harping on that because we're working entirely too hard," said Towson's first-year coach, Michael Hunt.

"This team [Delaware State] beat us pretty good last year [84-66] and I think the guys that were here last year wanted to show that we've improved as a basketball team. Our record might not show it, but we're starting to do a lot of things better. We're executing our offense, defending better and we continue to do a good job rebounding."

Allen, who has been struggling with turnovers, found his shot. After missing his only two shots in the first half, he caught fire midway through the second to help put away the visiting Hornets, who fell to 4-7 by losing their fourth straight.

He hit a jumper, converted a three-point play, added a basket inside, then had an underhand scoop between two three-pointers in a seven--minute stretch to provide a 64-50 lead with 3:10 to play.

"My team helped me out a lot," said Allen. "They were behind me, and when I got out onto the court, I felt good so I kept playing my game and things worked out.

"I didn't really realize how many points I had because I was more concerned with my turnovers and cutting them down."

The Tigers will return to the road and Colonial Athletic Association play on Saturday night when they travel to George Mason before returning to Towson Center for three straight league games starting Jan. 12 against Drexel.

The Tigers shot 48 percent from the field and limited visiting Delaware State to 26 percent at the other end in building a 31-23 halftime lead. After consecutive three-pointers from Gerald Weatherspoon and Sutton came two straight baskets from Kerry Augustus to give the Tigers their biggest lead of the first half at 30-17 with 3:21 left.

A half-court, buzzer-beating three-point shot from Delaware State guard James Bowen brought the Tigers' lead under double digits at the break.

DELAWARE STATE-Dent 1-6 2-2 4, Matthews 3-6 0-0 6, Stephanenkov 0-7 0-0 0, Davis 4-8 4-4 16, Bailey 5-11 0-0 15, Bowen 2-4 2-2 8, Nathaniel 0-3 0-1 0, Hightower 0-1 0-0 0, Johnson 0-2 3-4 3, Parker 1-3 0-0 2, James 1-3 0-0 2, Robinson 0-1 1-2 1, Hunter 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 17-56 12-15 57. TOWSON-Blanks 4-5 4-4 12, Sutton 5-9 0-1 11, Shin 4-8 1-4 9, Reaves 1-3 0-0 2, Weatherspoon 2-8 2-2 7, Allen 6-9 1-3 15, Augustus 4-8 0-0 8. Totals 26-50 8-14 64. Halftime-Towson, 31-23. 3-point goals-Delaware State 11-30 (Bailey 5-8, Davis 4-6, Bowen 2-3, Robinson 0-1, James 0-1, Johnson 0-1, Hightower 0-1, Nathaniel 0-2, Dent 0-3, Stephanenkov 0-4); Towson 4-10 (Allen 2-4, Weatherspoon 1-2, Sutton 1-3, Reaves 0-1). Rebounds-Delaware State 33 (Dent 10); Towson 37 (Sutton 12). Assists-Delaware State 14 (Dent 3); Towson 15 (Sutton 5). Total fouls-Delaware State 18; Towson 16. A-548.

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