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The Towson Tigers have been struggling of late, but Thursday night's first home game of the new year proved to be just what they needed.

After losing five of its previous six games, Towson got 18 points apiece from junior guard Brian Starr and senior John Davis and took out its anger on Delaware, defeating the Blue Hens, 83-56, in a Colonial Athletic Association game at SECU Arena.

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The Blue Hens were led by freshman Ryan Daly, who scored 17 points.

Towson coach Pat Skerry said the Tigers had a closed-door meeting with the players Monday to voice some of the frustration over the recent losing streak, and it seemed to have helped the Tigers (9-9, 1-4 CAA).

"I feel like we've gotten the proverbial piano off our backs," Skerry said. "We had a good week of practice. We had a 75-minute meeting, and John led it and challenged some guys. He said he wasn't going to play anymore because some guys weren't playing the way we play at Towson. He challenged them. We can be competitive when we defend, rebound and move the ball, and I think we showed that. It was good to get this one."

The Tigers came out cold to start the game, and Delaware (7-11, 0-5) took an 11-4 lead on a 3-pointer by Daly with 14:55 left in the first half. After that, the Towson defense began to assert itself and the offense started to click.

Towson got a layup by Davis, a 3 by Starr and a layup and foul shot by Starr to take a 12-11 lead with 13:25 left in the half.

The teams traded baskets until Delaware's Daly hit a 3-pointer with 11:36 left to cut the Towson lead to 17-16. After that, the Delaware offense went cold. The Blue Hens wouldn't score again for the next 5:45, and Towson went on a 9-0 run to take a 26-16 lead with 7:45 left.

The Blue Hens managed to cut the lead to 26-21 with 5:19 left to play, but Towson extended the lead to 36-28 at halftime.

A big reason for Towson's dominance toward the end of the half was its advantage on the boards. The Tigers outrebounded Delaware, 21-14, in the first half and 42-26 overall.

The Tigers continued their dominance in the second half, using a dunk by Mike Morsell to build a 15-point lead, 45-30, with 17:06 left.

Delaware managed to cut the lead to nine multiple times, the last being at 55-46 with 10:26 left, but could get no closer, and Skerry emptied his bench.

One person who definitely came through for Towson was Starr. The junior was 3-for-3 on 3-point attempts, 3-for-3 from the free-throw line, and made six of eight shots on the night.

"I just went with the offense," said Starr, who is recovering from a foot injury. "I like to cut a lot, and that was missing for a while. I took what the defense gave me."

The Tigers will get the opportunity to make it back-to-back wins at home Saturday when they face Northeastern at 2 p.m.

Skerry hinted he thinks his charges will be ready.

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"We have a great opportunity to play against a first-place team where we'll be a huge underdog," Skerry said. "We look forward to that challenge."

DELAWARE (7-11): Harris 0-0 0-0 0, Mosley 3-4 2-4 8, Daly 6-11 2-2 17, Bryant 2-6 1-2 6, Hayes 3-8 0-2 7, Carter 1-2 0-2 2, Johnson 4-10 0-2 8, Cushing 0-2 0-0 0, Lochner 0-0 0-0 0, McRoy 0-1 0-0 0, Corbett 0-1 0-0 0, Pinkard 3-8 0-0 8. Totals 22-53 5-14 56.

TOWSON (9-9): Thomas 1-5 0-4 2, Morsell 3-6 0-0 6, Adala Moto 4-9 4-5 12, Morman 3-9 0-0 7, Starr 6-8 3-3 18, Gorham 3-5 0-1 6, Davis 8-10 2-2 18, Keith 0-2 3-4 3, Tunstall 1-1 0-0 2, McNeil 3-4 2-6 9, Rolle 0-2 0-0 0, Martin 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 32-61 14-25 83.

Halftime—Towson 36-28. 3-point goals—Delaware 7-18 (Daly 3-4, Pinkard 2-5, Bryant 1-3, Hayes 1-4, Corbett 0-1, Cushing 0-1), Towson 5-11 (Starr 3-3, Morman 1-1, McNeil 1-2, Rolle 0-1, Davis 0-1, Keith 0-1, Morsell 0-2). Fouled out—None. Rebounds—Delaware 21 (Johnson 6), Towson 40 (Adala Moto 10). Assists—Delaware 9 (Bryant 3), Towson 14 (Starr 4). Total fouls—Delaware 21, Towson 14. A—1,812 (5,250).

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