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College Basketball

Defense, Kionna Jeter’s 37 points propel Towson women’s basketball to 84-63 rout of College of Charleston | ROUNDUP

As encouraged as the Towson women’s basketball team was about torching the nets for 90 points in Saturday’s win against the College of Charleston, the players and coach Diane Richardson were slightly irked about the 81 points they surrendered.

The Tigers proved to be quick students, using a morning film session to renew their defensive focus in an 84-63 dismantling of the visiting Cougars on Sunday afternoon at SECU Arena in Towson.

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Redshirt senior shooting guard Kionna Jeter scored a career-best 37 points — which tied a season high in the Colonial Athletic Association — to extend a four-game winning streak for Towson (9-3, 4-1 CAA).

But even she acknowledged the sting of giving up the second-most points to a conference opponent this season.

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“We had talked yesterday about how we needed to pick up our defense today,” she said. “There was a little disappointment in ourselves as a collective group. We knew we could be better defensively.”

In Saturday’s game, Charleston (6-6, 2-4) jacked up 81 shots — a season high allowed by the Tigers — and went to the free-throw line 29 times, converting 20 chances. The Cougars also converted 24 points off of 22 turnovers by Towson.

On Sunday, Charleston launched 76 attempts, but 21 of those took place during a fourth quarter in which the Tigers enjoyed an advantage that grew to 29 points with 2:14 remaining. For the game, the Cougars made only 11 trips to the free-throw line and scored only 11 points off of 19 turnovers.

“I thought we didn’t let up,” Richardson said in only her second game since returning Jan. 27 from a bout with the coronavirus. “I thought our defense was aggressive. We continued to pound and pound and pound and step into the passing lanes and force them to take some bad shots. Our defense was really on-point today.”

Towson's Kionna Jeter, right, shoots over Charleston's Shai Blanding in the second quarter.

After a first half in which Charleston connected on 33.3% (12-for-36) of its shots and made all eight free throws, the offense slipped to 21.1% (4-for-19) shooting from the field and only one free throw in a pivotal third quarter during which Towson turned a 38-33 lead into a 56-42 advantage.

“I went in and I told them that I needed their feet to be quicker,” Richardson said of her halftime discussion with the team. “I needed their rotations to be much, much quicker, and they did that today. When your rotations are quick and you’re there to contest, they don’t put the shots up. So we were quicker today with our feet.”

Add Jeter: “We just stayed solid. We had talked again at halftime and knew that it was going to be a defensive game and that we needed to stop them.”

Another halftime adjustment involved paying more attention to Cougars forward Arynn Eady. The 6-foot-1 junior scored 16 points on 6-for-12 shooting in the first half and went through at least three Tigers defenders. In the second half, Eady scored only four points on 2-for-7 shooting against a rotation of 6-1 freshman forward Allie Kubek, 6-0 junior Narrie Dodson and 6-4 senior Tess Borgosz.

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“We had our post body her up a bit, make her work for every shot,” Richardson said. “She didn’t get it easy in the second half.”

Offensively, Towson was carried by Jeter’s showing which was a SECU Arena record on the women’s side, 17 points, nine rebounds and six assists from sophomore point guard Aleah Nelson (McDonogh) and 10 points, three rebounds and three assists from junior shooting Shavonne Smith.

“She’s just phenomenal,” Richardson said of Jeter, who entered the game leading the CAA in scoring at 25.0 points per game. “She can score probably in her sleep. We like that. Of course, she scores within the flow of the game and doesn’t hog the ball. She’s a team player, and it was good seeing her get a career high.”

Jeter did her best to downplay her performance, saying, “It feels good. It kind of feels normal. My teammates helped me out a lot. They encouraged me to shoot the ball no matter what, and that’s what I did today.”

Jeter, whose previous career best was 33 in a 95-59 rout of Morgan State on Dec. 20, said she learned from Richardson that she was nearing that mark after scoring 27 through the first three quarters.

“Coach Rich told me to go out and get at least 10 or 11 more,” she said. “It’s great. That means she believes in her players. She lets us play our type of basketball.”

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The Tigers won’t have to wait long for their next game as they will play host to James Madison (10-6, 6-3) on Wednesday at 2 p.m. The game is second of a back-to-back matchup from last month after the Dukes won the first matchup, 89-85, on Jan. 3 by outscoring Towson 19-11 in the final six minutes.

“We know that James Madison is a great team, and everyone has got to lock in for the next couple of days because it’s going to be kind of a quick turnaround with an off day on Monday,” Jeter said. “We’ve just got to keep going on a roll. It’s not good losing. So we’ve got to keep going on a roll. We lost to James Madison by four, which was disappointing to us because we were up for a majority of the game and then we kind of let it slip away in the end.”

Morgan State 65, Howard 61: Dahnye Redd recorded 15 points and nine rebounds to help the visiting Bears (9-3, 6-2 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference) beat the Bison (9-2, 5-2) on Sunday to secure a weekend series split.

Adia Brisker added 11 points and five rebounds and Ja’niah Henson chipped in nine points and seven rebounds for Morgan State, which avenged a 70-68 loss to Howard on Saturday. The Bears, who host Delaware State on Saturday, have won six of their past seven games.

Iyanna Warren had 17 points and seven rebounds to lead the Bison, who were held to 31.8% shooting from the field. Both teams struggled from long distance, with Morgan State going just 1-for-11 and Howard finishing 3-for-18 from 3-point range. The Bison also hit just 16 of their 27 free-throw attempts.

Men

College of Charleston 66, Towson 53: Zep Jasper scored 17 points with seven rebounds as College of Charleston returned from a two-week COVID-19-related pause to sweep Towson on Sunday.

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The Cougars, who also beat Towson in double-overtime on Saturday, 90-88, had not played a weekend series since Jan. 16-17.

Cameron Copeland recorded 14 points, Payton Willis added 13 points and Lorenzo Edwards had three blocks for Charleston (7-8, 5-3 CAA).

Nicolas Timberlake had 13 points for the Tigers (3-12, 2-8), whose losing streak reached seven games. Zane Martin added 12 points. Charles Thompson had 11 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks. Martin scored 34 points on Saturday.

The Tigers, who will host Northeastern on Saturday, were without brothers Solomon and Victor Uyaelunmo for a fourth straight game due to COVID-19 contact tracing protocols.

Norfolk State 84, Coppin State 72: Devante Carter scored 31 points to lift the host Spartans (10-6, 5-3 MEAC) over the Eagles (6-12, 5-4).

Jalen Hawkins added 14 points off the bench for Norfolk State, which shot 46.5% from the field.

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Nendah Tarked scored 19 points to lead Coppin State. Dejuan Clayton had 18 points and seven assists, while Koby Thomas added 17 points and Anthony Tarke chipped in 12 points, six rebounds and four assists. The Eagles shot 46.5% from the field and went 10-for-23 from 3-point range.

The teams will meet again Monday at 7 p.m. on ESPNU after the weekend series originally scheduled to begin Saturday was pushed back a day.

Baltimore Sun staff and The Associated Press contributed to this article.


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