Towson comes up empty in bid for rare CAA win


Towson has rarely been in a position to win a Colonial Athletic Association game this season, and when a good opportunity arrived, the young team let it slip away.

William & Mary appeared ripe for an upset at Towson Center last night, but the Tigers underwent two scoring droughts and committed 16 turnovers in a slow-paced contest to falter again, 59-52.

The defeat was the eighth in a row and 15th in the past 16 games for Towson (4-18, 1-12 CAA), marking the worst stretch in the school's Division I men's basketball history.

Although William & Mary (11-10, 6-6) won for the fourth straight time, CAA Player of the Year candidate Adam Hess was held to 4-for-14 shooting and the team hit just 37.7 per cent from the field and was out-rebounded, 37-30.

But Towson still fell short because the Tribe seemed to grab every loose ball, its zone defense was effective after the Tigers had some early success with outside shooting, and its clock management shortened the time Towson had for rallying.

In addition, the Tigers, who play five freshmen extensively, chipped in with a high number of turnovers for a game played at such a moderate tempo.

"They made a lot more hustle plays, got a lot of second opportunities and converted," said guard Jamaal Gilchrist, who topped the Tigers with 16 points. "We were playing defense for almost the whole shot clock, then they'd get the ball again and we'd do it over. It kind of slowed us down."

Still, Towson was in contention with less than two minutes left when a baseline jumper by Jacob McCartney shaved the Tribe's edge to 54-50. But Sherm Rivers drove to a reverse layup 25 seconds later, raising the lead to six, and the Tigers were obliged to foul the rest of the way.

"We haven't been in that situation [chance to win late] lately," said Towson coach Michael Hunt. "We sort of froze."

After taking a 17-11 lead with the aid of three three-pointers, Towson went 9 1/2 minutes without a field goal during a 14-1 run by the Tribe. That scoreless streak and another of nearly seven minutes down the stretch turned out to be too great a hurdle for a team on pace to average the fewest points per game (currently 57) in its Division I history.

WILLIAM & MARY-Hess 4-14 4-7 15, Jenkins 3-7 0-0 7, Duggins 3-11 2-4 8, Howell 2-3 0-0 6, Rivers 3-8 0-0 7, Mokris 2-3 2-3 6, Viglianco 1-3 0-0 3, Cope 2-4 3-5 7. Totals 20-53 11-19 59.

TOWSON-Dixon 0-2 2-2 2, Hamm 2-6 0-2 4, McCartney 5-6 0-0 10, Gilchrist 6-12 0-0 16, McSweeney 4-10 0-0 12, Allen 0-2 0-0 0, Petkunas 0-1 0-0 0, Warner 0-1 1-2 1, Weatherspoon 3-7 1-2 7, Goode 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 20-48 4-8 52.

Halftime-W&M;, 32-26. 3-point field-W&M; 8-16 (Hess 3-7, Howell 2-3, Viglianco 1-1, Rivers 1-2, Jenkins 1-3); TOW 8-24 (McSweeney 4-10, Gilchrist 4-8, Weatherspoon 0-3, Allen 0-2, Petkunas 0-1). Fouled out-Hamm. Rebounds-W&M; 30 (Jenkins, 6); TOW 37 (Hamm, Warner, 7). Assists-W&M; 13 (Hess, 6); TOW 17 (McSweeney, 5). Total fouls-W&M; 12; TOW 16. A-801.

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