Towson scores a season low in 70-49 loss to Old Dominion

12-0 surge before halftime propels Monarchs to win

College Basketball

January 25, 2004|By Kevin Van Valkenburg | Kevin Van Valkenburg,SUN STAFF

Towson University, which hasn't tasted much success in recent years, has played plenty of basketball games this season in which the signs of progress under third-year coach Michael Hunt were clearly evident.

In those games, players boxed out, played tough defense, hit open jump shots and got easy points in transition.

Unfortunately for Hunt, yesterday's game against Old Dominion was not one of those days.

Towson jumped to an early nine-point lead on its home court but went ice cold late in the first half, and Old Dominion went on a 12-0 run before halftime to get the lead back and never trailed again in a 70-49 victory.

The 49-point total was a season low for Towson (6-11, 3-5), which has had trouble generating offense all season. The Tigers came into yesterday ranked 309th out of 326 Division I teams in scoring, averaging just 59.4 points. Alex Loughton had 14 points and 13 rebounds for Old Dominion (10-6, 5-2) and Isaiah Hunter and John Waller chipped in 14 apiece as well.

To be fair, the game was Towson's fourth in eight days, and the Tigers' tired legs may have contributed to several jumpers left short. But Tigers center Derrick Goode, who led the team with 14 points, shrugged off fatigue as an excuse.

"Today, that wasn't the issue," Goode said. "We were up early, but we stopped making shots and we stopped defending. That was the real key."

Early on, Old Dominion couldn't figure out how to guard Goode, who is the only 7-footer in the Colonial Athletic Conference. The Tigers hit consecutive three-pointers to open the game, then kept the Monarchs guessing by dumping it inside over defenders to Goode on consecutive possessions for layups.

Towson even went up 25-18 on a beautiful possession with 7:30 left in the first half, during which all five Tigers touched the ball, the ball never touched the floor, and the end result was a dunk by Goode.

Problem was, things completely fell apart for Towson from that point. The Monarchs held the Tigers without a point the rest of the half, and scored 12 straight to head into the break up 30-25. Though Old Dominion shot just 38 percent from the floor, it grabbed 20 offensive rebounds, and that (plus a 17-8 run to open the second half) spelled doom for the Tigers.

"We would get a stop, and the ball would just slip through our fingers," said Hunt, whose team was out-rebounded 51-33. "I thought that was the difference. Second-chance points are really big. It tends to crush the spirit of a defense."

OLD DOMINION--Dahi 5-7 2-3 12, Loughton 5-13 4-4 14, Hunter 6-13 0-0 14, Williamson 0-3 0-0 0, Waller 6-12 2-2 14, Waldon 1-1 0-0 2, Lidonde 1-7 0-0 3, Nance 1-3 0-0 3, Thomas 1-6 0-0 3, Vasylius 2-5 1-2 5, Mrksic 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 28-72 9-11 70. TOWSON--Hamm 2-10 3-5 8, Petkunas 3-9 0-1 7, Dixon 0-3 1-3 1, Green 4-10 4-6 13, Gilchrist 2-6 0-0 6, Jackson 0-2 0-0 0, Tubbs 0-1 0-0 0, Goode 7-9 0-1 14, Pease 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 18-50 8-16 49. Halftime--Old Dominion, 30-25. 3-point goals--ODU 5-26 (Dahi 0-1, Loughton 0-1, Hunter 2-5, Williamson 0-1, Waller 0-6, Lidonde 1-5, Nance 1-3, Thomas 1-3, Vasylius 0-1.), Towson 5-14 (Hamm 1-1, Petkunas 1-4, Green 1-5, Gilcrist 2-3, Jackson 0-1). Fouled out--None. Rebounds--ODU 51(Loughton 13), Towson 33 (Hamm, Petkunas, Green 6). Assists--ODU 17 (Vasylius, Nance, Williamson 3), Towson 12 (Green 6). Total fouls--ODU 19, Towson 15. A--N/A.

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