Frustrated Towson loses momentum as Old Dominion rolls

Coming off strong win, Tigers misfire in quest of first 2-game streak, 66-53

January 15, 2002|By Kevin Eck | Kevin Eck,SUN STAFF

Coming off its first Colonial Athletic Association victory and one of its best shooting performances of the season, the Towson men's basketball team seemingly had something to build on heading into last night's game against Old Dominion.

The Tigers, however, will have to go back to the drawing board after they dropped a 66-53 decision to Old Dominion before 784 at the Towson Center.

Junior forwards Ricardo Marsh and Rasheed Wright scored 18 points apiece to lead the Monarchs (9-7, 3-3). Senior forward Sam Sutton scored 14 to pace the Tigers (5-10, 1-4), who lost for the first time in five home games.

Towson, which shot 59.2 percent in a 68-62 win over Drexel on Saturday, still hasn't won consecutive games this season.

The Tigers, who fell to 0-8 in the series against Old Dominion, connected on just 18 of 45 shots from the field (40 percent) and were out-rebounded 41-20 - including 14-4 on the offensive boards.

"We knew coming into the game that they weren't a great shooting team, and that a lot of their offense came off the offensive boards," Towson coach Michael Hunt said.

"It hurt us not having [power forward] Keon Blanks [concussion against Drexel] for the simple fact that we couldn't play a bigger lineup.

"I'm disappointed that we didn't execute our offense as well tonight as we did in the Drexel game. I thought we took too many quick shots and didn't make the extra pass like we did Saturday night," Hunt said.

In the first half, Towson appeared to have picked up where it left off against Drexel, building a 19-12 lead with 5:36 remaining.

The Tigers went cold after that, however, and Old Dominion ended the half by making seven of eight shots during a 17-3 run to take a 29-22 advantage.

The Monarchs wasted little time extending their lead after halftime, using a 13-4 spurt to take a 42-26 lead with 14:35 left. Old Dominion took its biggest lead, 49-31, with 10:25 remaining.

Towson then rallied behind point guard Brian Allen (12 points, all in the second half), pulling to 53-45 as Allen converted both ends of a one-and-one with 5:16 remaining.

The Tigers would get no closer, however, as the Monarchs made all nine of their free throws down the stretch. Overall, Old Dominion was 18-for-20 from the line and converted its final 15 attempts.

Despite the loss, Sutton believes the Tigers are headed in the right direction.

"We really wanted this game at home to show that we belong in this league," he said. "This is definitely a game that we felt we could win. We were superb on defense in the first half. We had a few lapses, but it's coming together."

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