The Towson University men's basketball team spent the week making amends, finding the second go-around a much more positive experience.
For a second straight outing, the Tigers defeated a Colonial Athletic Association foe that had previously beaten them, holding off William and Mary for a 61-58 win last night at the Towson Center.
Trailing 59-58 with nine seconds left, the Tribe went to Adam Hess for the lead, but his short jumper was blocked by senior forward Kerry Augustus, with junior guard Brian Allen providing the finishing touches at the other end with two free throws.
The difference between last night and the Tribe's 62-45 win seven days before? Productivity from Augustus (11 points), junior guard Gerald Weatherspoon (12 points) and, in particular, Allen, who finished with a team-high 16 points and nine assists and just three turnovers in 40 minutes.
After combining to score just 19 points in the first meeting on the road, the three all reached double figures last night to total 39 points.
Towson's leading scorer and rebounder Sam Sutton, who missed the past two days of practice with the flu and was questionable, scored just six points in 31 minutes, but he contributed by diving for loose balls and blocking two shots.
Following up Monday night's 67-55 win at Old Dominion, The Tigers have won two straight for the first time this season in improving to 8-15 overall and 4-9 in conference play.
"We've been a little afraid of success. We talked about that as a team; we really haven't handled it well," said Towson coach Michael Hunt. "This is our first game where we've won two in a row, so now we talk about our goals as a team: staying together, staying focused, taking them one at a time.
"We don't really look at it as revenge. It's just a matter of playing better, executing better, and I thought our team did that."
With the game tied at 46 with 10:31 left, the Tigers made only three field goals the rest of the way, but still managed a 57-51 lead with 53 seconds left.
The Tribe, however, responded at the free-throw line (4-for-4) and with a big three-pointer from Nick D'Antoni before Augustus, who was 3-for-4 from three-point range, made his final contribution at the defensive end with the block to preserve the win.
Allen, who was just 2-for-14 in the first meeting with four assists and seven turnovers, was able to dominate stretches last night and, most importantly, protected the basketball.
"I tried to help my teammates get some more points," he said. "Those possessions are big, especially against teams in the CAA, so I'm trying to cut down [on turnovers] and every now and then I have a bad game, but I try to be efficient with the ball every time we get it."
WILLIAM & MARY-5-9 5-6 18, Hess 1-7 0-0 3, Cope 1-2 0-0 2, D'Antoni 1-3 0-0 3, Markham 0-4 0-0 0, Rivers 3-6 0-0 6,Strohbehn 6-11 0-1 14, Carbaugh 3-7 4-4 12, Viglianco 0-0 0-0 0, Duggins 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 20-50 9-11 58. TOWSON-Blanks 3-4 0-0 6, Sutton 3-5 0-1 6; Augustus 4-5 3-4 11; Shin 2-6 0-0 4, Allen 5-10 3-4 16, Weatherspoon 4-7 3-5 12, Goode 1-2 4-6 6, Totals: 22-39 13-20 61. Half-Towson, 37-35. 3-point goals-W&M; 9-21 (Johnson 3-5, Carbaugh 2-4, Strohbehn 2-5, D'Antoni 1-1, Hess 1-5, Rivers 0-1), Towson 4-9 (Allen 3-6, Sutton 0-1, Weatherspoon 1-2). Rebounds-W&M; 35 (Johnson, 10), Towson 20 (Shin, 6). Assists-W&M; 16 (Strohbehn, 5); Towson 17 (Allen, 9). Total fouls-W&M; 17, Towson 14. Fouled out-none. A-1,323.