Towson caught flat, 82-47

Va. Commonwealth gets lift from stepping up pace

January 30, 2003|By Kent Baker | Kent Baker,SUN STAFF

Towson University encountered a speed trap last night and received a ticket to another worst-ever defeat at the Towson Center.

Overwhelmed by Virginia Commonwealth's quickness and athleticism, the youthful Tigers suffered an 82-47 Colonial Athletic Association drubbing in which they were never in contention.

Virginia Commonwealth (10-7, 5-4 CAA) exploited 29 Towson turnovers for 41 points while rebounding from its worst defeat in four years.

That occurred Saturday when UNC Wilmington beat the Rams on their home court by 31 points, a game coach Jeff Capel impressed upon his team as "one game and over with, but I don't want them to ever forget it."

"Considering what we just came off of, the guys just wanted to get it out of their heads and that sour taste out of their mouths," said all-CAA forward Willie Taylor, who paced four Rams in double figures with 20 points.

Virginia Commonwealth, perhaps the most gifted team in the league, vaulted to an 11-2 lead while Towson (4-14, 1-8) went 1-for-7 from the field and committed four turnovers.

The pressure continued all night on the Tigers, who have lost four in a row and 11 of their past 12. Virginia Commonwealth amassed the first eight points of the second half to take a 43-21 advantage and end any Towson comeback notions.

"They were in the [CAA] championship game last year and they have the experience to keep on the pressure," said Tigers coach Michael Hunt, who tried to combat the opponent's speed by playing a zone defense.

"We didn't react very well to the pressure. They really made it hard for us. With the turnovers we've been having, we're not giving ourselves enough possessions to score."

Hunt thought his team lost its aggressiveness after falling so far behind and looked to "shoot its way back in," not a particularly sound strategy since the Tigers produce the fewest points in the league.

"I thought we did a good job with disciplined pressure," said Capel, the former Duke backcourt star who at age 27 is the youngest head coach in men's Division I play.

Freshman Lawrence Hamm topped the Tigers with 10 points and seven rebounds.

VIRGINIA COMMONWEALTH-Taylor 9-12 0-0 20, George 5-11 1-2 11, Godwin 2-4 0-0 4, Jones 4-6 0-0 8, Willie 3-5 0-0 6, Adams 1-2 0-0 2, Doles 5-7 0-1 11, Mathis 6-12 2-3 18, Reid 0-1 0-0 0, Moore 1-3 0-0 2. Totals 36-63 3-6 82.

TOWSON-Dixon 2-5 3-3 7, Hamm 5-7 0-0 10, McCartney 2-7 2-2 6, Gilchrist 2-6 2-2 6, Allen 1-3 0-0 3, Petkunas 1-4 0-0 3, McSweeney 1-8 0-0 2, Warner 3-5 0-0 6, Weatherspoon 2-4 0-0 4. Totals 19-49 7-7 47.

Halftime-VCU, 35-21. 3-point goals-VCU 7-16 (Mathis 4-8, Taylor 2-3, Doles 1-1, Adams 0-1, Willie 0-1, Jones 0-2); TOW 2-12 (Allen 1-3, Petkunas 1-3, Gilchrist 0-1, Weatherspoon 0-1, McSweeney 0-4). Fouled out-none. Rebounds-VCU 30 (Doles 6); TOW 29 (Hamm 7). Assists-VCU 22 (Jones, Willie 7); TOW 16 (Allen, 6). Total fouls-VCU 15; TOW 13. A-1,006.

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