Towson tumbles to 6th loss in a row

`Improvement' is seen, but J. Madison wins, 64-51

January 09, 2003|By Kent Baker | Kent Baker,SUN STAFF

A return home to face a team mired in a similar losing streak was not sufficient to carry Towson University over the winning edge last night.

With four straight defeats, James Madison was just as hungry as the Tigers, and its greater experience and depth proved insurmountable in a 64-51 Colonial Athletic Association victory.

The loss was the sixth straight for Towson (3-9, 0-3 CAA), which started three freshmen, a sophomore and a junior transfer.

Tigers coach Michael Hunt was encouraged by the Tigers' resistance in the second half after James Madison (5-8, 1-2) asserted control early and never trailed after the first basket of the game.

"We could have folded the tent, but we didn't quit," he said. "It's a tough time right now, but I saw improvement."

Hunt played only seven Tigers against the Dukes' nine-man rotation because of two injuries and his dissatisfaction with some members of the roster.

"Who performs in practice is who earns playing time," Hunt said. "You play guys who give their all and do what the coach wants done."

As a result, Tigers point guard Jamaal Gilchrist went 39 tough minutes, scoring a game-high 16 points and adding seven rebounds and four assists.

"I got a little fatigued, but it's something I'll have to get used to," said the transfer from Texas A&M. "Sometimes I'm doing some things before they [his young teammates] do. We're still feeling each other out."

Towson was hurt by 22 giveaways, among them 15 James Madison steals.

"We've got five guys out there who didn't start for Towson last year," Hunt said. "We've got to do that if we're going to grow. They're hungry and playing hard. I see a lot of positives."

James Madison used superior inside experience to its advantage, with CAA field-goal percentage leader Ian Caskill, a 6-foot-10 senior, accumulating 15 points and a team-high nine rebounds.

"They'll be good in a year or two," Caskill said of the Tigers. "But we felt we were a little bit stronger down low right now."

Senior David Fanning, an All-CAA guard, and his backcourt mate, junior Chris Williams, scored 14 points apiece.

JAMES MADISON-Broyles 3-8 1-2 8, Whitehead 1-8 1-4 3, Caskill 6-9 3-3 15, Fanning 4-8 4-4 14, Williams 6-10 1-2 14, Miller 0-5 0-0 0, Hatter 1-4 0-0 2, Naparlo 0-0 0-0 0, Mitchell 4-6 0-0 8. Totals 25-58 10-15 64. TOWSON-Dixon 3-6 0-0 6, Hamm 1-6 4-6 6, McCartney 2-4 0-0 4, Gilchrist 6-10 3-3 16, Petkunas 4-12 0-0 9, McSweeney 3-9 0-0 8, Warner 0-1 2-2 2. Totals 19-48 9-11 51. Half: JMU, 35-21; 3-point field goals: JMU 4-15 (Fanning 2-3, Williams 1-1, Broyles 1-3, Hatter 0-3, Miller 0-5); T 4-16 (McSweeney 2-8, Gilchrist 1-2, Petkunas 1-6). Rebounds: JMU 28 (Caskill, 9), T 36 (Hamm, 9). Assists: JMU 13 (Fanning, 4), T 12 (Gilchrist, 4). Totals fouls: JMU 13, T 13. Fouled out: None; Technical fouls: None. Att: 506.

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