Pat Skerry hoping road schedule has toughened Towson men's basketball

All six of Tigers' losses this season have occurred away from SECU Arena in Towson

January 08, 2014|By Edward Lee, The Baltimore Sun

Winning on the road is never as simple as it seems, as the Towson men’s basketball team has learned.

All six of the Tigers’ (9-6) losses this season have occurred on the road, and Saturday’s 81-79 win over Coppin State was their first road win of the season. As dire as the team’s 1-6 record away from home might sound, coach Pat Skerry hopes those games have prepared his players for Colonial Athletic Association play, which begins Saturday at 2 p.m. when North Carolina-Wilmington (6-10) visits SECU Arena.

“I hope I didn’t overdo it,” he half-joked Tuesday in a conference call. “Everyone has different needs in scheduling, but we certainly wanted to play some tough road games. North Dakota State was a team that can maybe win a couple games in March, and Stephen F. Austin has the second-longest home winning streak in the country. So we felt like we needed to do that. To win the league, which is everyone’s goal, you’ve got to win some road games, and hopefully, we’ve benefited from that. We’re going to find out. We haven’t beaten, in my opinion, a postseason road team yet, but we’re going to have some opportunities coming up in a deep CAA race, and hopefully we benefit from some of these tough games early.”

The Tigers’ opponents on the road are a combined 35-5 at home. And despite its road troubles, Towson is 8-0 at home and the team’s nine nonconference wins are the most in school history since the program moved to Division I before the 1979-80 season.

“We had a meeting Sunday night, and some of our guys were maybe a little bit down,” Skerry said. “I think they had hoped that we would finish nonconference a little better than what we did, although we certainly played a challenging road schedule. … So we also reminded our guys that this is the best nonconference [mark] in the record of the program as a Division I school. I think we’re still looking for longer stretches of more consistent play. I do think our guys will quickly get a little bit more keyed up and locked in with conference play starting.”

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