Delaware puts pain of Towson to rest

76-56 tourney blowout ends Kennedy's first year with 13 straight defeats

College Basketball

March 05, 2005|By Kent Baker | Kent Baker,SUN STAFF

RICHMOND, Va. - The first season of the Pat Kennedy era at Towson ended inauspiciously last night at the Richmond Coliseum.

The Tigers' offense was virtually nonexistent for the first eight minutes and they had little success shooting at all until they were hopelessly behind, enabling Delaware to pull away to a 76-56 victory in the opening round of the Colonial Athletic Association tournament.

It was the 13th consecutive loss for Towson, which finished with a 5-24 record and no wins since Jan. 19. Meanwhile, the victory was the 1,000th in the history of Delaware men's basketball.

Towson went 1-for-12 from the field with three turnovers and had two more shot attempts blocked while seventh-seeded Delaware (11-19) established a comfortable early lead it never relinquished.

With less than 12 minutes to go, the Blue Hens had stretched their advantage to 51-27, guaranteeing the Tigers would be ousted in their first game for the third time in four years of CAA tournament play. The exception was last year when they beat William and Mary in their opener.

"This is the first time we've gotten physically manhandled to that extent," said Kennedy. "You have to credit Delaware. They really dictated the tempo. The biggest thing that comes to mind is how they constantly moved us out from under the basket."

All-CAA forward Harding Nana, who was the top rebounder and No. 2 scorer during the regular season, paced the Blue Hens with 19 points and 16 rebounds, all off the defensive board. The double double was his 18th in 30 games.

"No one likes losing," said Jonathan Pease, who tied Mike Green for the Towson scoring high with 14. "Psychologically, they were wearing us down. I feel bad for the seniors who have to go out this way."

The Tigers lose 7-foot Derrick Goode (Spalding) and Tony Dixon, who was injured most of the season.

"We start off 0-for-8 and shoot 20 percent [in the first half]. That takes away some confidence and encouragement," said Kennedy. "If we make some of those shots, it might have been different."

Towson has not won a league championship since 1992 when it was still in the East Coast Conference.

TOWSON - Hamm 3-6 1-2 7, Pease 5-23 1-2 14, Plack 1-5 0-0 2, Jackson 0-5 0-0 0, Green 4-14 5-7 14, Fletcher 3-4 1-2 8, Tubbs 1-4 2-4 4, Goode 3-3 1-3 7, McCartney 0-0 0-0 0, Dublin 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 20-64 11-20 56. DELAWARE - Nana 6-17 6-8 19, Wentt 1-3 2-5 4, Smith 2-4 0-0 4, Slattery 3-7 0-0 6, A. Washington 3-10 9-15 15, Maepa 0-1 2-2 2, R. Washington 3-6 4-4 13, McMahon 0-2 2-2 2, Madera 4-6 1-2 9, Flowers 0-0 2-2 2. Totals 22-56 28-40 76. Halftime - Delaware, 31-18. 3-point goals - Towson 5-21 (Pease 3-14, Jackson 0-1, Green 1-3, Fletcher 1-2, Tubbs 0-1); Delaware 4-18 (Nana 1-8, Slattery 0-2, A. Washington 0-1, R. Washington 3-6, McMahon 0-1). Fouled out - None. Rebounds - Towson 38 (Pease 10); Delaware 49 (Nana 16). Assists - Towson 12 (Green, Fletcher 3); Delaware 11 (Slattery 6). Total fouls - Towson 26; Delaware 18. A -3,438.

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