Towson misses shot to end run by Hofstra

Tigers beaten by Pride 11th straight time, 62-60

College Basketball

January 31, 2002|By Jeff Zrebiec | Jeff Zrebiec,SUN STAFF

Trying last night to exact some revenge for the third time this season on a team that has historically dominated it, the Towson men's basketball team instead exited another matchup with Hofstra frustrated.

For the 11th straight game and the seventh consecutive time at the Towson Center, the Pride defeated the Tigers.

This time, Hofstra secured a 62-60 Colonial Athletic Association victory over the Tigers when junior forward Danny Walker blocked Brian Allen's layup attempt at the buzzer.

"They totally deserved to win. They out-executed us," said Towson's first-year coach, Michael Hunt. "Hofstra is a big rival. There are no excuses for us."

The Pride (10-11, 5-5), which, like Towson, is playing its first year in the Colonial Athletic Association after being a part of the America East Conference, got 25 points from junior Rick Apodaca and 11 off the bench from junior Osei Millar. Walker added nine points and nine rebounds, but no contribution was bigger than his game-saving block against Allen.

Hofstra looked to have the game put away when Apodaca hit a free throw with 21 seconds left and the Tigers (6-14, 2-8) turned the ball over at the other end.

But Walker missed two free Throws, and Towson senior Sam Sutton went the length of the court for a layup with just over four seconds left. An inbounds violation by Hofstra then gave the Tigers a chance to send the game into overtime, but Walker and deflected Allen's driving attempt at a layup.

Aside from eight turnovers and the last blocked shot, Allen had a career game for the Tigers, scoring 20 points and posting 10 assists, both the best numbers of his college experience.

"I told our guys before the game that Towson is a good basketball team," said Pride coach Tom Pecora. "This was important for us to get a road win, and we did. We've won a lot here, but they're almost always a tough game."

The Tigers were hoping that they could do to Hofstra what they had done against Delaware and Drexel earlier this season. Those two teams had combined to beat the Tigers 27 straight times before Towson came up with victories earlier this month.

As on Monday, when the Tigers did not score a basket in the last 10:07 of the game against UNC Wilmington, Towson started to falter down the stretch and Hofstra took advantage.

His team behind 45-41 with just under 10 minutes to play, Apodaca nailed a three-pointer to pull the Pride within one and then hit another basket to give Hofstra the lead.

The Pride followed a basket by Towson's Sutton (14 points) with an 8-0 run that gave it a 54-47 lead. The lead was cut to three on two occasions before the hectic last 10 seconds.

"At the end of the game, we showed good poise," Pecora said.

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