Deliberate Bucknell takes its time before rolling past Towson

Tigers' Hairston has 2nd double double

Bucknell 71 Towson 57

November 15, 2007|By Todd Karpovich | Todd Karpovich,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Towson coach Pat Kennedy looked across the scorers' table at the Bucknell bench last night at Towson Center and saw a team that would serve as a good model for his Tigers.

The Bison are one of the more successful mid-major programs, winning at least 22 games in each of the past three seasons and reaching the second round of the NCAA tournament in 2005 and 2006. The Tigers were able to control small stretches of last night's game with their athleticism, but Bucknell's clutch shooting was the difference in the Bison's 71-57 victory before an announced 2,097.

Five days after his breakout performance against Loyola - when he became the first Towson player to score at least 20 points and grab 20 rebounds in a Division I game - Junior Hairston was once again a force for the Tigers with 12 points and 10 rebounds.

"The energy was great in the beginning of the game," Kennedy said. "But that energy seemed to move backward, and all of the hustle plays seemed to go their way. They made shots. We didn't make shots. It was a great learning experience for us. These guys are still new playing together."

Towson (1-1) tried to press the Bison into an up-tempo game, and the Tigers held a six-point lead midway through the first half. However, Bucknell eventually got into a rhythm and made five straight three-pointers over a six-minute stretch for a 33-27 lead at halftime.

Bucknell, which plays in the Patriot League, shot 47.8 percent from the field, including 10 of 23 from three-point range.

Junior forward Tony Durant led Towson with 13 points and had nine rebounds, while junior guard Tim Crossin added 12 points.

"They just took control of the pace of the game," Crossin said. "When they got the ball on offense, they just took their time. They got the shots they wanted and knocked them down."

The Bison (2-0) were led by senior guard John Griffin, who scored a game-high 21 points and controlled Bucknell's offense by alternating between point guard and shooting guard. Justin Castleberry (Archbishop Spalding) also was effective for the Bison, scoring 16 points.

Bucknell began to pull away in the second half, going on a 16-7 run with less than 10 minutes left.

"Having seen Towson play Loyola, I thought we could get some shots even though they might be contested," Bucknell coach Pat Flannery said. "If we played smart and moved that ball a little extra, we would be OK."

BUCKNELL-Tyree 1-3 1-2 3, Behan 2-5 3-4 9, Linthicum 3-6 0-1 6, Castleberry 6-11 1-1 16, Griffin 5-10 8-11 21, O'Brien 1-1 4-4 6, Fiery 0-0 0-0 0, Shazier 1-4 0-0 2, Boon 3-6 0-0 8, Evans 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 22-46 17-23 71. TOWSON-Spruill 2-10 2-2 6, Hairston 5-11 2-2 12, Durant 4-14 5-5 13, Williams 2-9 0-0 4, Coleman 2-9 3-5 8, Crossin 4-4 1-2 12, Carr 0-0 0-0 0, Nwankwo 1-2 0-0 2, Pease 0-0 0-0 0, Raboin 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 20-59 13-16 57. Half-Bucknell, 33-27. 3-point goals-Bucknell 10-23 (Castleberry 3-6, Griffin 3-8, Behan 2-2, Boon 2-4, Tyree 0-1, Shazier 0-2), Towson 4-16 (Crossin 3-3, Coleman 1-4, Durant 0-1, Williams 0-2, Hairston 0-2, Spruill 0-4). Fouled out-Hairston. Rebounds-Bucknell 35 (Linthicum 9), Towson 37 (Hairston 10). Assists-Bucknell 13 (Griffin 4), Towson 14 (Hairston, Williams 3). Total fouls-Bucknell 17, Towson 21.

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