A Drexel squad vying for a high seed in the league tournament supplied the latest rugged assignment for the Tigers, rolling away in the second half last night for a 76-50 victory that completed a sweep of their season series.
Depleted by a finger infection to guard Brian Allen and a reaction to asthma by shot-blocking center Tony Dixon that prevented him from playing after the break, Towson (4-17, 1-11 CAA) was no match for the Dragons, who are tied for second place in the league.
The defeat was the seventh straight and 14th in 15 games for the Tigers.
Towson twice beat Drexel (13-8, 8-4) last season, once when stringing together five wins in its final seven CAA games.
"We were reminded about that a lot," Drexel coach James "Bruiser" Flint said. "The pressure was on us a little bit."
After a matchup zone helped the Tigers remain within seven points at the half, Dragons guard Eric Schmieder forced them out of the defense by scoring 12 of his team's first 13 second-half points while Towson struggled with its offense.
Schmieder finished 8-for-8 from the field in the final 20 minutes and scored 25, flourishing in transition as Drexel steadily built its lead against a depleted Tigers rotation.
"It really did hurt not having Tony [Dixon] inside," said Tigers freshman Jacob McCartney, who had his first double double with 12 points and 10 rebounds. "When you have one less man, you have to go that much harder."
Towson's inside coverage and foul trouble combined to contain Drexel center Robert Battle, a first-team all-CAA player, but Schmieder and fellow guard Phil Goss (20 points) more than compensated with outside firepower.
"Our zone was very effective, but once they got the big lead early in the second half, we had to come out of it," said Towson coach Michael Hunt. "And, we didn't do a good job of rotating out of the double team to people we knew could put the ball in [from long range]."
Drexel shot 64 percent in the second half with an attack far too potent for Towson.