Gilchrist's 32 lead Towson men to CAA win

Wm. & Mary falls, 70-65

Tigers face VCU today

March 06, 2004|By Kent Baker | Kent Baker,SUN STAFF

RICHMOND, Va. - On the shoulders of its only senior and his precocious backcourt running mate, Towson cleared another Colonial Athletic Association hurdle yesterday at the Richmond Coliseum.

Senior guard Jamaal Gilchrist scored a career-high 32 points - two short of the single-game tournament record - and freshman Mike Green contributed a flurry of clutch plays through the stretch, leading the Tigers to their first CAA tournament victory in three years, 70-65, over William and Mary in the play-in round.

For its success, ninth-seeded Towson (8-20, 4-14 CAA) received as its reward a date against top seed Virginia Commonwealth today in the quarterfinals.

The victory was the Tigers' second straight - they thumped James Madison in the regular-season finale - since an 11-game losing streak.

"Jamaal told [the players] before the game that we were not going to lose," said Towson coach Michael Hunt. "He said, `You guys gotta get on my back and go.'"

That's exactly what happened as Gilchrist carried the team through most of the game offensively. At the onset of the second half, he scored 13 of the first 14 Tiger points while a zone by William and Mary (7-21, 4-15) throttled the Tigers' inside threats.

"I felt I had to take any open shot I could," said Gilchrist, a Washington, D.C. native. "Coach has been wanting me to shoot 15 to 20 times a game, and I've been trying to shoot more in the last five."

After a tardy start, Green came through with 13 second-half points, including two big three-pointers as the Tigers overcame a 44-36 deficit behind their guards and some stout defense by Andrius Petkunas against Tribe star Adam Hess, the league's leading scorer.

Hess finished with 23 points but did not have a field goal over the final 14 minutes.

"When you out-rebound a team by 15 [38-23] you should win," said William and Mary coach Tony Shaver. "But sometimes it's as simple as making shots. We just didn't convert. And you don't want to see one player beat you, but [Gilchrist] might have done that single-handedly tonight."

The Tribe has not won in the tournament since 1997.

Now it gets immeasurably tougher for Towson, which lost to Virginia Commonwealth by 101-76 and 68-44 this season and have never been closer to VCU than 13 points since joining the league for 2001-02.

TOWSON - Hamm 1-3 2-2 4, Pease 3-6 1-1 9, Dixon 1-2 4-4 6, Green 3-8 5-6 13, Gilchrist 12-18 4-5 32, Jackson 0-1 0-0 0, Petkunas 0-2 2-2 2, Tubbs 0-4 0-0 0, Goode 2-5 0-0 4, Plack 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 22-51 18-20 70. WILLIAM AND MARY - Cope 3-12 3-5 11, Cofield 5-9 9-13 19, Loehrke 1-3 0-0 2, D'Antoni 1-4 2-2 4, Hess 7-13 7-9 23, Trumbower 1-3 0-0 3, Markham 0-0 0-0 0, Mokris 1-3 0-0 3, Hutt 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 19-48 21-29 65. Half: William & Mary, 27-25. 3-Point goals-Towson 8-21 (Gilchrist 4-9, Pease 2-4, Green 2-5, Jackson 0-1, Petkunas 0-2), William & Mary 6-19 (Cope 2-6, Hess 2-6, Mokris 1-1, Trumbower 1-3, D'Antoni 0-3). Fouled out-None. Rebounds-Towson 23 (Green 7), William & Mary 38 (Cope 11). Assists-Towson 10 (Green 5), William & Mary 12 (D'Antoni 6). Total fouls-Towson 25, William & Mary 19. A-NA.

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