Towson knocks on wood in bid to bring in Michigan

Towson State may be adding more than a hardwood floor to the Towson Center by next basketball season. The Tigers also could bring in a nationally ranked opponent.

Athletic director Wayne Edwards will speak with administrators from the University of Michigan on Tuesday about scheduling a game in Towson with the Wolverines. Tigers coach Terry Truax has contacted Michigan coach Steve Fisher, "and progress has been made," Edwards said.


"There's a basic agreement, but it hasn't been approved yet by athletic officials. We think we can work it out, but by no means is anything confirmed.

"I think there's a good chance, but I've had a lot of good chances fall through."


Edwards said the Tigers want a "name opponent" to play in their first game on the Towson Center's new, portable floor, which they expect to have next fall at a cost of around $100,000. West Virginia and North Carolina also were possibilities, but nothing could be arranged.

A game against Michigan would be a homecoming of sorts for Wolverines guard Louis Bullock, who averaged more than 25 points, eight rebounds and eight assists as a senior at Laurel Baptist.

As for the new floor, Edwards said: "We've got to raise the money for it first. We're working on that in a number of different directions. We have to place the order in the spring for delivery on Oct. 15."

The floor would go over the synthetic surface that Edwards said has been "bad on the basketball players' ankles and knees because it's just laid over concrete.

"I find this hard to believe, but I've been told we're the only Division I school left that still plays on a non-wood floor."

Smooth start

Julie Anderson's first week as Johns Hopkins' only returning frontcourt starter couldn't have gone much better.

The junior forward averaged 23.0 points and 12.0 rebounds in two games while leading Hopkins to its fourth consecutive Blue Jay Classic title and being named the Centennial Conference's Player of the Week. She then topped all scorers with 18 points in Tuesday's 60-35 victory on the road against Swarthmore.


A third-team Division III All-American last year after leading Hopkins in points (17.8) and rebounds (14.2), Anderson has been elevated to the first team by several publications.

She was expected to get more attention from the opposition now that center Lori Leonard, the school's all-time leading rebounder, has graduated, but teams are keying on junior point guard Angie Arnold, figuring Anderson can't do much harm if she doesn't get the ball.

"I was prepared to see a lot of triangle-and-two [defenses], but Julie's been able to roam freely," said coach Nancy Blank, whose team won 20 games last season and captured its first conference championship and second straight NCAA tournament bid.

Freshman point guard Leslie Ritter has been converted to a 2 guard, giving Hopkins another player who can bring the ball up the court.

Ritter is among seven freshmen on a Hopkins roster that also includes four sophomores, two juniors and a senior.

Top Towson recruits


Towson State women's basketball coach Ellen Fitzkee said the three players who signed letters of intent last week represent the best group the Tigers has gotten signatures from in the early signing period. Ever.

Forward Jess Gordon, 6-2, averaged 13.0 points and 10.0 rebounds last season at Williamsburg (Pa.) High and was named among the top 100 high school players in western Pennsylvania. Kim Wright, a 5-11 forward from Largo High, is a preseason high school All-American who averaged 9.0 points and 8.0 rebounds while helping Largo High to the state semifinals. And 6-0 guard tTC Jill McGowan averaged 24.0 points, 10.0 rebounds. 5.0 assists and 5.0 steals last year while leading Westmar to the state final.

"We've added some size and a good deal of talent," Fitzkee said.


The UMBC women's basketball invitational begins tomorrow, with Richmond playing Delaware State at 1 p.m. and the Retrievers facing Lehigh at 3 p.m. The consolation game will be Sunday at 1, followed by the championship game. Junior center Tracey Grossnickle's basket with three seconds left gave Frostburg State's women's basketball team a 63-62 win over King's (Pa.) College and the championship of the McDonald's-FSU Classic. It was the Bobcats' first lead since the first five minutes; junior guard Shelly Ridgeway was named MVP with 40 points and 11 steals in two games. UMBC senior forward Marc Lay needs four assists to become the fourth Retriever to accumulate 750 points and 250 assists. He has the only triple-double in school history, notching 12 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists against Coastal Carolina in January 1995.

Vanessa Blair, a 1992 graduate of Mount St. Mary's who averaged 15.7 points, 8.9 rebounds and 2.5 blocks during her four years with the Mountaineers and was named the Northeast Conference's Player of the Decade, has returned to the school, becoming an assistant coach under Bill Sheahan. Freshman Tiffany Jones, a 6-foot-1 center who averaged 16.1 points and 15.8 rebounds during her career at Hagerstown High School, won't play for Mount St. Mary's during the first semester because of illness.


Pub Date: 11/29/96