Towson struggles in loss to VCU, 68-44

18-0 run costly

Tigers fall to 1-8 in past 9 games

College Basketball

February 15, 2004|By Christian Ewell | Christian Ewell,SUN STAFF

There are some games that probably don't merit much investigation. One would be Virginia Commonwealth's 68-44 dismantling of Towson last night.

One team, VCU, finds itself deep in a title race in the Colonial Athletic Association. The other team, ninth-place Towson, does not.

Given the disparity of stakes on the teams - not to mention talent - it was no surprise that the first-place Rams (16-7, 10-4 CAA) spent most of the second half holding their lead against the Tigers (6-17, 3-11), who have lost eight of their past nine.

"I do think we're a little more talented, right now," said VCU coach Jeff Capel, whose team is tied with Drexel and Old Dominion after holding the Tigers to 27 percent shooting. "We're a little older, a little [more] experienced. When you let a team [stay] around, it gives them confidence and they believe that they can win the game."

It wasn't an early 18-0 run by VCU that doomed Towson. It was a pair of mistakes by freshman guards in the final minute before halftime that ended any chances for the Tigers.

With Towson down only four points, Mike Green had center Tony Dixon in position for an easy pass. Instead, he went for the shot, which missed badly. That led to a dunk with 24 seconds remaining by VCU reserve Michael Doles, who finished with 14 points.

Shortly thereafter, Trevon Jackson made a bad pass that Domonic Jones took and converted into a layup that put the Rams ahead 32-24 heading into the break.

"I wouldn't say we were right where we wanted to be, but we were in striking distance," Towson coach Michael Hunt said. "I thought we ended the first half on a downer and it carried over to the second half."

VCU held the Tigers to one field goal over the first seven minutes of the second half. Led by Troy Godwin's game-high 18 points, the Rams jumped out to a 49-31 lead on a Jones basket with 11:37 left.

One bright spot for Towson was freshman Jonathan Pease, who scored 12 points off the bench, while Jamaal Gilchrist scored 13 to lead the team. Drew Johnson had 10 to join Godwin and Doles in double figures for the Rams.

VIRGINIA COMMONWEALTH - George 2-4 1-2 5, Pellot-Rosa 2-3 0-0 5, Godwin 9-14 0-1 18, Jones 3-8 0-0 6, Walker 2-5 0-0 6, Doles 5-9 3-4 14, Harper 0-1 0-0 0, Johnson 4-5 0-0 10, Reid 1-3 2-2 4. Totals 28-52 6-9 68. TOWSON - Hamm 2-3 0-0 4, Petkunas 1-2 0-0 3, Dixon 0-3 0-0 0, Green 1-11 4-4 6, Gilchrist 5-9 1-2 13, Jackson 0-4 0-0 0, Tubbs 0-2 0-0 0, Goode 1-4 2-4 4, Pease 3-7 4-6 12, Plack 0-4 2-2 2. Totals 13-49 13-18 44. Half - Virginia Commonwealth, 32-24. 3-point goals - Virginia Commonwealth 6-14 (Pellot-Rosa 1-1, Jones 0-2, Walker 2-4, Doles 1-2, Harper 0-1, Johnson 2-3, Reid 0-1), Towson 5-11 (Petkunas 1-1 Green 0-2, Gilchrist 2-3, Jackson 0-1, Pease 2-4). Rebounds - Virginia Commonwealth 34 (Godwin 7), Towson 33 (Hamm 8). Assists - Virginia Commonwealth 17 (Jones, Walker 4), Towson 11 (Green, Gilchrist 3). A-929.

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