Wednesday night’s 76-67 loss at Oregon State was the third in the last four games for the Tigers (7-5), who trailed by 21 points midway through the second half before keeping the final score respectable.
Coach Pat Skerry said he appreciates the effort he has seen from the players but also noted that the team needs to pay more attention to the details that can determine the outcome.
“We’re not doing the little things for long enough stretches yet,” he said Thursday as the team traveled from Corvallis, Ore., to Fargo, N.D., for Saturday night’s game at North Dakota State. “I think we’re playing pretty hard, but we’ve got to put together longer stretches of playing smarter basketball. We went out and aggressively scheduled last year’s postseason teams on the road because we know that the [Colonial Athletic Association] is going to be tough. Villanova, Kansas, Stephen F. Austin and Oregon State are teams that play in March. We’ve been in games, but we haven’t played well enough in long enough stretches to get a win. And we’re going to play another super team on Saturday night.”
Over the last four games, opponents have averaged 73.5 points compared to 64.4 points in the first eight games. And Towson hasn’t helped itself at the free-throw line, converting just 54.6 percent (53-for-97) after a 66.3 percent success rate (138-for-208) in the first eight contests.
With just three more nonconference games left on the schedule before the Tigers begin the CAA portion, Skerry knows that winning these next few contests could give the team some much-needed momentum when the calendar turns to January.
“There’s no magic formula or secret or anything like that,” he said. “We’ve got to play 40 minutes of really good basketball. We’ve got to guard and rebound and make sure that we share on the other end of the floor. And then on the road, you have to punch in some free throws, which we haven’t done a great job of lately. So it’s the little things. It’s not any wholesale sweeping changes, and there are no trades with players to be named later. We’ve got enough tools in the toolbox to get where we want to get in our league, but we’ve got to play longer stretches of more cohesive basketball.”