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Towson women fall to Radford, 90-73


RADFORD, Va. -- Towson State left the Big South Conference in disappointing fashion last night.

The second-seeded Tigers lost to third-seeded Radford, 90-73, at the Dedmon Center. The Highlanders (14-14), looking for their sixth straight Big South championship, avenged two losses to Towson State earlier this season to advance to their ninth straight league championship game against top-seeded UNC-Greensboro tonight.

The Tigers, who will join the North Atlantic Conference next season, ended this year 15-13.

The Highlanders were led by Lisa Howard, who scored 26 points. Rebecca McNeil added 16 for Radford, which had three other players in double figures. Towson State was led by Tanya Belair (15) and Trinette Tucker (12).

Radford's defense and shooting in the first half keyed the victory. The Highlanders shot 51.5 percent (17 of 33) in the first half and limited the Tigers to 35.7 percent (10 of 28). Radford led 40-27 at the half.

The Highlanders also shut down Tucker, the Big South Player of the Year. Of Tucker's 12 points, one came in the first half.

"We had a tough time getting out of the gate and it seemed like we were down 10 right off the bat," said Towson State coach Ellen Fitzkee, whose team fell behind 21-8 after 10 minutes. "Playing on their home court gives them a tremendous advantage, and we just weren't good enough tonight to overcome that. Still, we had a great year considering how young we are."

Radford reserve center Sara Larsen scored seven of her 11 first-half points in the first 10 minutes.

Led by Howard, the Highlanders maintained a 12- to 15-point lead the rest of the half.

Tucker finally scored her first field goal of the game with 12 minutes left in the second half, and that sparked a 6-0 run to carve the Radford lead to 50-40 with 11:25 left.

The Highlanders built the lead back to 15, but Tucker helped bring Towson State back to with 63-53 with 6:40 remaining.

However, Howard made a three-pointer on Radford's next possession, and that sparked a 7-0 run and a 70-53 lead.

F: The Tigers got no closer than 13 the rest of the game.

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