During the Colonial Athletic Association's first men's basketball coaches conference call of the season Tuesday morning, Towson's Pat Skerry joked that he hadn't suffered a defeat like the one Hofstra administered in Saturday's 90-58 rout since his elementary school days when he challenged an older classmate to a fight.

On Thursday night, it was the Tigers who asserted their will and dominated visiting UNC Wilmington, 76-60, before an announced 1,381 at SECU Arena.


Towson, which improved to 11-5 overall and 2-1 in the CAA, pounded the Seahawks by going to its strengths. The Tigers entered the game leading the conference in rebounding margin (plus-6.8) and rebounds per game (40.9), and controlled the glass against UNCW, 43-25.

The defense, which also entered tops in the league allowing 65.0 points per game, forced the CAA's top offense into season lows in points and shooting percentage (32.8 percent).

"We got back to playing Towson basketball," Skerry said. "We held them to 32 percent shooting and were plus-18 on the glass. That's who we are, and we got back to doing that."

The Tigers converted 48.8 percent (21 of 43) of their shots from the floor, made 29 of 36 free throws (compared to UNCW going 15-for-19 from the foul line) and scored 30 points in the paint. They also had 16 assists, including a game-high five from sophomore shooting guard Mike Morsell, who chipped in 17 points and a game-best nine rebounds.

"We're sharing the ball well," said sophomore point guard Byron Hawkins, who finished with 16 points, six rebounds and three assists. "We're finding the open man on the back side. … We were finishing. So that's just great."

Redshirt junior forward Arnaud William Adala Moto led all scorers with 20 points with the bulk coming on a career-high 13 free throws in 14 attempts. Adala Moto, who also collected eight rebounds, said he wanted to take advantage of UNCW's tendency to foul.

"We just had to take care of the ball and be aggressive going to the rim," he said. "So I was just really going to attack the rim and finish strong and make my free throws."

Motivated by Saturday's 32-point loss, the Tigers opened the game hot, scoring eight of the contest's first 10 points.

After a jumper by redshirt junior guard Denzel Ingram snapped a 3-minute, 42-second drought for UNCW, Towson embarked on a 12-2 run to enjoy its largest advantage of the first half — 20-6 with 11:12 left.

The closest the Seahawks got was within eight points after a pair of free throws by redshirt junior guard Chris Flemmings trimmed their deficit to 30-22. But the Tigers responded with six consecutive points for a 36-25 lead at halftime.

Midway through the second half, UNCW made a charge to narrow the gap to 54-49 after a three-point play from redshirt junior center C.J. Gettys. But Towson scored the next six points and was never seriously threatened thereafter.

Ingram paced the Seahawks (9-5, 1-2) with 18 points, while Flemmings and freshman guard C.J. Bryce contributed 10 points each.

But UNCW was unable to establish its traditional full-court press because the players missed so many shots from the floor, coach Kevin Keatts said.

"I thought they did a good job of clogging driving lanes, but I think we missed a lot of shots," he said. "We got a lot of shots early that just didn't go for us and rimmed out. Not to take away from Towson's defense because they're obviously the best defensive team in our league as far as getting stops. But I thought we were equally as bad missing open shots as they were defending them."


Notes: With Hofstra's 72-61 loss at the College of Charleston, the Tigers are tied with the Pride, Charleston, William & Mary and Elon for second place in the CAA. Northeastern is the only undefeated team in the conference with a 3-0 mark. … Towson's win snapped a three-game losing streak to UNCW and a five-game skid at home against league opponents. … Adala Moto has scored 12 points or more in each of his past 11 contests.


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