Drexel brings Towson to earth in 88-82 win

Dragons spoil momentum Tigers had built at home

College Basketball

January 22, 2004|By Kent Baker | Kent Baker,SUN STAFF

Towson has been playing much-improved basketball of late, so much so that it knocked perennial Colonial Athletic Association power UNC-Wilmington out of the league lead Monday night.

But the Tigers couldn't sustain their home-court dominance last night, falling to hot-shooting Drexel, 88-82, despite a stirring comeback in the final minute.

Drexel (9-6, 4-2) was the CAA runner-up last season and is a team on a roll, having won seven of its past nine games.

"I felt we didn't have a good start. Drexel got out in transition early and got a lot of open looks and made the shots," said Tiger coach Michael Hunt. "But I was proud of our effort once we got down."

With 1:09 to play, the Dragons were coasting with an 82-67 lead. Towson declined to wilt as Philadelphia-born freshman Mike Green fueled a rally that shaved the gap to 86-82 with 3.5 seconds to go. Two free throws by Tim Whitworth (team-high 20 points) finally iced it.

The defeat was the first for the Tigers (6-10, 3-4) at the Towson Center in league play and the team's third game in five nights.

Centers Tony Dixon and Derrick Goode did a good defensive job on Sean Brooks (5-for-14 from the field), whose 67 percent shooting led the nation entering the game.

But eventually Dixon and Goode wound up in foul trouble and the Tigers had no answer for Drexel's 10-for-16 performance from beyond the arc.

"They pretty much had their way the first half," said Goode, who shot 8-for-10 for 16 points. "They got going early. Last year, we might have thrown in the towel, but this is a new Towson team. We keep fighting no matter what the score."

Green (23 points) and Andrius Petkunas (19) had career highs for the Tigers, whose point total was by far a season high.

Dragons coach Bruiser Flint sounded more like the loser than the victor afterward.

"Guys didn't come ready to play and we're not good enough to do that," Flint said. "It's tough when you're disappointed after a win."

DREXEL - Brooks 5-14 4-7 14, Whitworth 6-7 5-8 20, Mason 1-1 1-1 4, Goss 4-9 6-6 17, King 3-4 1-2 7, Sanchez 5-9 2-2 14, Miller 0-2 0-0 0, Crawford 2-2 0-0 4, Hinds 2-4 3-4 8. Totals 28-52 22-30 88. TOWSON - Hamm 4-7 3-6 11, Petkunas 7-14 2-3 19, Dixon 1-3 1-2 3, Green 7-13 6-9 23, Gilchrist 3-7 0-0 7, Jackson 1-3 0-0 3, Tubbs 0-1 0-0 0, Goode 8-10 0-0 16, Pease 0-0 0-0 0, Plack 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 31-60 12-20 82. Half -Drexel, 35-32. 3-point goals-Drexel 10-16 (Whitworth 3-3, Sanchez 2-2, Mason 1-1, Goss 3-8, Hinds 1-2), Towson 8-19 (Gilchrist 1-2, Jacons 1-3, Green 3-6, Petkunas 3-9). Fouled out-Mason, Dixon. Rebounds-Drexel 29 (Brooks 6, Sanchez 6), Towson 36 (Dixon 9). Assists-Drexel 18 (Goss 6), Towson 21 (Petkunas 6). Total fouls-Drexel 23, Towson 24. A-748.

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