Towson's 6-5 win over No. 18 Massachusetts gave the Tigers a substantial lift in the Colonial Athletic Association standings. With an 8-3 overall record and a 2-1 mark in the league, they are tied with Drexel (7-4, 2-1) for second place in the CAA.
But coach Shawn Nadelen said he has better things to address than the team’s position in the race for four berths in the conference tournament.
“In the conference, I just know that if we win games, we get into the playoffs, and in the playoffs, anything can happen,” he said Monday morning. “So we just focus on beating the teams that are up next. From my understanding, three [wins] kind of guarantees you [a spot in the CAA tournament]. Two can put you in decent position. Obviously, we’re not playing just to get in. We want to beat the teams in the regular season and hopefully have a chance to beat them in the conference playoffs.”
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Towson is the reigning league tournament champion and can take a step toward possibly catching conference leader and No. 16 Hofstra (7-3, 3-0) with a victory over visiting Penn State on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at Johnny Unitas Stadium.
The Nittany Lions (4-6, 0-2) are reeling with three consecutive losses and are not eligible for the CAA tournament as a result of the program’s announcement last year that it would join the Big Ten for the 2015 campaign.
But Nadelen said he fully expects Penn State coach Jeff Tambroni to rally the players for Saturday.
“I think they’re going to continue to be hungry,” Nadelen said. “I’m sure their season hasn’t gone as well as they would like it to, and Coach Tambroni always has his guys prepared. They have a group of players that are competitive and are there for a reason. I’m sure they want to reverse the misfortune that they’ve had so far this season. So I know that on Saturday night, they’re going to come in here ready to take it to us regardless of their opportunity in the CAA or not.”