If the Towson men's basketball team was using Saturday's game against defending conference champion UNC-Wilmington as a measuring stick, then it still has a little bit of work to do.
The visiting Seahawks used 22 points from Denzel Ingram, 19 of which came in the second half, to blow open a one-point game at halftime and defeat the host Tigers, 76-67, at SECU Arena.
John Davis led the Tigers with 18 points, followed by Mike Morsell with 13 and Deshaun Morman with 11.
The Tigers (8-6, 0-1 Colonial Athletic Association) were their own enemies in the second half, coming up empty on many possessions either because of the Seahawks' defensive pressure or turnovers.
"Let's give credit to Wilmington. The had much more poise than us," Towson coach Pat Skerry said. "Our defense let us down. We committed a lot of turnovers, and they feast on those. We did a good job of throwing it all over the free world."
Skerry said UNCW (12-2, 1-0) dictated the pace, but a lot of the Towson wounds were self-inflicted.
"They're good. They speed up the game," Skerry said. "That's somewhat hard to simulate [in practice]. Still, something's missing with us. The exciting thing is we'll find out what it is quickly because our next three games are on the road. We'll find out what we're made of."
The Tigers looked like they were up for the test in the first half. The Seahawks ran out to an early 7-2 lead, but Towson, which outrebounded UNCW 28-17 in the first half, used its advantage on the boards to battle back to twice take the lead. The Seahawks led, 32-31, heading into the break.
The second half was a much different story. After a William Adala Moto layup gave Towson a 33-32 lead just after halftime, the Seahawks showed why they are the class of the league. The Seahawks got a jumper and a thundering dunk from Devontae Cacok to take a 36-33 lead. From that point, UNCW used a combination of Towson turnovers and a great half by Ingram to extend its lead to as many as 14. Towson never led again.
Ingram made one of seven 3-point tries in the first half, but heated up in the second half, finishing 5-for-14 from long range.
"We didn't guard well today," Davis said. "They shoot 3s. We know that. It's what they do. We didn't contest a lot of shots in the second half like we did in the first, and that was part of the problem. Plus we turned the ball over 19 times, and you can't do that and expect to win."
The Tigers will now go out on the road for three games this week against James Madison, College of Charleston and Elon. Davis said they need to put the loss behind them and continue to improve.
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"It's important to have a short-term memory," he said. "We'll watch the film and see what we can improve on, but the next game is another opportunity. We have to be ready to play."