Towson trips Loyola to end road drought

Off bench, senior Gilchrist sparks Tigers' 66-62 win

College Basketball

November 30, 2003|By Rich Scherr | Rich Scherr,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

With his team dominated by freshmen and sophomores, Towson University men's basketball coach Michael Hunt said he likes to bring point guard Jamaal Gilchrist, his lone senior, off the bench as a veteran influence.

Last night against local rival Loyola, the Tigers' elder statesman again didn't get the start. It's how he finished, however, that made the difference in Towson's 66-62 win before a sparse gathering at Reitz Arena.

The Tigers are off to their first 2-1 start since 1999.

Gilchrist scored 13 points, all in the second half, and helped give Towson's offense some direction as it broke a 12-game road losing streak dating to last season.

"I think we were much more patient running the offense, and that had a lot to do with Jamaal Gilchrist," Hunt said. "Being the only senior, a lot falls on his shoulders. In the second half, he took over and got us in the right position."

"He brings me off the bench to stabilize the team, and I did that today," said Gilchrist, who started 26 of 28 games a year ago. "It doesn't matter [if I start], as long as we're winning."

Led by Gilchrist and guard Trevan Jackson (15 points, including 13 after halftime), Towson shot 64 percent in the second half after managing 28 percent over the first 20 minutes.

Having trailed throughout, by as many as 11 points early in the second half, Towson began to get back into the game by dialing up its half-court pressure, then converting defensive stops into points.

Jackson's three-pointer started a 9-1 run for the Tigers, who tied the game at 40 on two free throws from Lawrence Hamm with 11:59 left.

Minutes later, with the score tied at 49, the Tigers took the lead for good on Jonathan Pease's bank shot in transition, followed by Gilchrist's driving bank shot in the lane.

"We had our opportunities," said Loyola coach Scott Hicks. "If we would have made our foul shots down the stretch, it might have been a tie game or we might have been up by one."

Loyola made six of its 14 free throws over the final seven minutes.

Sophomore guard Charlie Bell scored 20 to lead the Greyhounds (0-3), who also got 16 from guard Shane James.

After beginning the game 4-for-17 from the field with five turnovers, Towson began to show more patience on offense.

Hunt said that bringing Gilchrist and center Tony Dixon off the bench made the difference.

"I think what it gives us is a chance to have somebody who can stabilize the situation," Hunt said. "When you're looking at bringing freshmen in, it's sort of hit and miss. So far, it seems to be working for us to bring the experienced guys off the bench."

TOWSON-Hamm 1-2 5-7 7, Tubbs 3-6 0-0 7, Goode 0-2 0-0 0, Jackson 5-9 2-6 15, Green 1-8 3-4 5, Dixon 3-4 1-4 7, McSweeney 0-4 0-0 0, Pease 4-9 0-0 8, McCartney 0-0 0-0 0, Plack 2-3 0-2 4, Gilchrist 4-7 4-6 13. Totals 23-54 15-29 66. LOYOLA-Bossman 3-11 0-0 8, Tuck 0-0 0-0 0, Nijaradze 2-2 2-4 6, Bell 7-14 3-4 20, James 5-10 4-6 16, Allen 1-8 2-8 4, Corrigan 1-4 0-0 3, Hinds 1-3 3-4 5, Chatman 0-0 0-0 0, Chivers 0-3 0-0 0. Totals 20-55 14-26 62. Half-Loyola 30-22. 3-point goals-Towson 5-11 (Tubbs 1-1, Jackson 3-3, Green 0-2, McSweeney 0-1, Pease 0-2, Gilchrist 1-2). Fouled out-Hamm. Rebounds-Towson 39 (Dixon 10), Loyola 37 (Allen 10). Assists-Towson 11 (Hamm, Tubbs, Green, Dixon, Gilchrist 2), Loyola 14(Bossman, James 4). Total fouls-Towson 22, Loyola 23. A-345.

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