Towson clinches ECC top spot with 76-66 win


HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. -- Junior forward Chuck Lightening shot 10-for-10 from the field and finished with a game-high 21 points, as Towson State clinched the East Coast Conference regular-season championship with a 76-66 victory over Hofstra University (13-12, 6-4) yesterday. A Hofstra win would have kept it in the title race.

This was the eighth straight time Hofstra (13-12, 6-4) had lost to the Tigers (16-8, 10-1), who earned a first-round bye in the ECC tournament, which begins at the Towson Center on March 2.

The triumph was the Tigers' seventh in a row on the road for an overall road mark of 8-3.

Towson State broke away from the 12th tie of the game at 57 when junior guard Devin Boyd hit two free throws with 7 minutes, 49 seconds left. This started the Tigers on a run that opened a 69-64 margin going to the final minute.

A basket by Anthony Knight brought the Flying Dutchmen within three, but Towson State closed out the game by making seven of eight free throws.

Towson State, which had suffered through one of its worst shooting nights of the season in a loss to Drexel Wednesday, bounced back with 53 per cent shooting from the field. Junior Terrance Jacobs backed Lightening with 18 points, and sophomore Larry Brown added 12 points and six rebounds.

Knight ended with 20 points and seven rebounds. Senior Derrick Flowers (Milford Mill) contributed 11 points.

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