Poor shooting sends Towson to ninth straight loss, 73-51

Tigers' slide matches their longest in Division I

February 16, 2003|By Kent Baker | Kent Baker,SUN STAFF

More of the same distress befell the young Towson men's team yesterday as Old Dominion provided another lesson in the quality of Colonial Athletic Association basketball, 73-51, at the Towson Center.

It was the ninth straight defeat for the Tigers, matching their longest skid since entering Division I, and 16th in 17 games to continue the worst overall fall at the same level.

Towson (4-19, 1-13) is almost certain to finish last in the league's regular-season race. Its last victory was a month ago yesterday against Hofstra.

"We will address that in recruiting," coach Michael Hunt said, when asked about Towson's propensity for long scoring droughts. "Guard play has hurt us. We need someone who can create shots for everybody else and score himself, as well."

The Tigers caught Old Dominion (11-11, 8-6) coming off an upset victory over first-place North Carolina-Wilmington, suggesting there might be a letdown. But the Monarchs had no such intention.

"We came off a big win a couple of weeks ago and then we went to William and Mary and we were flatter than a duck's instep," said coach Blaine Taylor. "We got embarrassed there, and I think that may have been in the back of our minds for this game. Our kids were very motivated."

Guilty of unforced errors and poor shooting, Towson fell behind 29-12 after 15 minutes while hitting only five of 19 shot attempts and committing seven turnovers.

One of the Tigers' rare offensive flurries cut the gap to 30-23 just before the break, but another offensive famine to start the second half squelched the comeback notions.

While Towson missed six straight field-goal tries and threw away the ball four times, Old Dominion sped away to a 46-24 advantage, and the rest of the game was a formality as the Monarchs continued to a season sweep.

In his fourth consecutive start, freshman Cilk McSweeney (13 points) was the only Towson player in double figures, and another freshman, Stephen Warner, had a career-best 10 rebounds.

"It's tough going out every day and losing, but we're young and we're never going to quit," McSweeney said.

All five Old Dominion starters scored in double figures.

OLD DOMINION - Marsh 5-17 0-1 11, Wright 4-6 1-1 11, Loughton 6-12 1-2 13, Waller 4-8 0-0 10, Nance 2-6 4-4 10, Hunter 2-5 0-0 5, Morris 1-3 0-0 3, Waldron 2-5 0-1 4, Pugh 0-1 0-0 0, Principe 2-2 0-0 4, Mrksic 1-3 0-0 2. Totals 29-68 6-9 73. TOWSON - Dixon 0-4 0-0 0, Hamm 3-8 2-2 8, McCartney 2-3 1-2 5, Gilchrist 2-9 4-5 9, McSweeney 5-8 0-0 13, Allen 0-1 0-0 0, Petkunas 2-6 3-4 8, Warner 3-6 2-2 8, Weatherspoon 0-2 0-0 0, Goode 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 17-48 12-15 51. Half - Old Dominion, 32-23. 3-point goals - OD 9-21 (Wright 2-3, Waller 2-5, Nance 2-5, Marsh 1-4, Hunter 1-1, Morris 1-2, Pugh 0-1), T 5-13 (McSweeney 3-5, Gilchrist 1-3, Petkunas 1-4, Allen 0-1). Rebounds - OD 42 (Marsh 13), T 34 (Warner 10). Assists - OD 19 (Nance 6), T 15 (Gilchrist 6). Fouled out - None. A- 1,003.

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