Rebounding, `D' end Tigers' skid

Towson 60, UMBC 55

November 23, 2005|By JEFF SEIDEL | JEFF SEIDEL,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Towson coach Pat Kennedy stole a quick glance at the scoreboard and simply began walking toward the UMBC bench in the final seconds of last night's 60-55 victory over the Retrievers. There were no big celebrations from the coach, his players or many of the Towson Center faithful.

However, the Tigers certainly were glad to finally have broken a 14-game losing streak that dated back to last season. Towson (1-1) hadn't won since beating James Madison on Jan. 19, but Kennedy was proud of how his team played after a shaky effort in a loss to Loyola last weekend.

This victory also ended a nine-game losing streak against UMBC (1-2).

"Each one of these wins will be a good win," Kennedy said. "We're going to be competitive in the [Colonial Athletic Association], and tonight showed me a glimpse of that. [But] this team is going to have to learn how to win."

Towson got big games from forwards Lawrence Hamm and Dennard Abraham. Hamm led the Tigers with 16 points and nine rebounds, and Abraham added 13 points and 10 rebounds. Both played a big role in Towson controlling play inside and holding a 43-32 edge in rebounding.

The Tigers also did a good job of stopping UMBC's penetration, shutting down the Retrievers for long stretches and forcing them to shoot outside. Twenty-nine of UMBC's 61 shots were three-pointers - and the Retrievers made just seven.

"I think this is a step in the right direction," Hamm said. "It's a payoff for some of the hard work we've [been] doing."

The Towson defense held UMBC without a basket for 8:45 in the second half. A stingy 2-3 zone often forced the Retrievers to use up lots of time before finding a shot, and often from too far away.

The young Tigers also got some good work from their bench, which helped when they ran into some second-half foul trouble, increasing the lead from five to 10 at one point.

Sean Raboin (seven points) and Winstonn Tubbs (four points, five rebounds) made some key plays.

Jerrell Dinkins sparked UMBC with a career-high 13 points, but the Retrievers came up short with a few late rallies.

"Towson was better than us tonight," UMBC coach Randy Monroe said. "They beat us in every phase of the game."

UMBC - Dinkins 6-12 1-2 13, Zito 2-12 3-7 7, Housman 0-0 0-0 0, Pugh 3-8 0-0 7, Bilal 2-6 2-2 8, Hodges 2-9 1-2 5, Eshietedoho 0-1 0-0 0, Greene 3-9 0-0 9, Timba 0-0 0-0 0, Young 2-4 1-2 6. Totals 20-61 8-15 55. TOWSON - Pratt 3-9 2-2 8, Hamm 7-12 2-3 16, Jackson 0-2 0-0 0, Plack 0-0 0-0 0, Tubbs 2-5 0-0 4, Raboin 3-5 0-0 7, Crossin 3-5 0-2 8, Coleman 1-5 2-4 4, Abraham 6-9 0-0 13. Totals 25-52 6-11 60. Halftime-Towson 32-27. 3-point goals-UMBC 7-29 (Greene 3-7, Bilal 2-5, Young 1-3, Pugh 1-4, Zito 0-1, Dinkins 0-4, Hodges 0-5), Towson 4-14 (Crossin 2-4, Raboin 1-2, Abraham 1-2, Jackson 0-1, Tubbs 0-1, Pratt 0-2, Coleman 0-2). Fouled out-None. Rebounds-UMBC 32 (Dinkins 6), Towson 43 (Abraham 10). Assists-UMBC 13 (Pugh 3), Towson 23 (Coleman 6). Total fouls-UMBC 18, Towson 14. A-1,016.

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