Dec. 5, 2020: Towson Tigers (2-4) @ Santa Clara Broncos (3-4)
Baltimore Sun Sports Section Article:
TOWSON’S LONG ROAD TRIP ENDS
Going up against the Santa Clara Broncos last night, the Towson University men’s basketball team finished a tough opening of their season with their 7th straight away game.
The Tigers started strong and took a 6 point lead early in the half, but the Broncos shot there way back and th two teams battled out the half through 6 lead changes and 4 ties. Towson outshot Santa Clara 52% to 49% and hit 6 of 11 from beyond the arc, but 9 turnovers allowed Santa Clara to take a 44-42 lead when they hit a 3 with 1 second left in the half. SG Billy Thomas led the scoring for Towson with 8 points while Jason Fuller dropped in 12 points for the Broncos.
The two teams continued to keep things close throughout the first 10 minutes of the 2nd half. But then Santa Clara pulled ahead by as much as 8 points. The Tigers cut the lead to 3 at 73-70 with 3:40 remaining. With 2 minutes left Towson was behind by just 2 but Santa Clara then drained a 3 pointer on their next possession. From there the Broncos countered each score by the Tigers. Towson went down to an 87-80 defeat. Turnovers were the difference in the game with Towson making 15 to just 9 by Santa Clara.
Towson’s scoring was led by SG Billy Thomas who hit for 16 with C Melvin Steele scoring 13 and SF Wayne Burrough adding 10 points and 8 rebounds. Santa Clara was led by SG Jason Fuller’s 24 points.
Coach Frederick Aura said, “Our guys played tough tonight, but Santa Clara hit over 50% of their shots and just kept us on our heels in the latter stages of the game. The travel the past three weeks has been brutal. I hope to never again see a schedule like we’ve endured to start our season this year.”
The Tigers will finally get a home game on Thursday when they play Ball State at SECO Arena.
Spencer Meadows, President of the Tigers Boosters Club:
Because Towson’s Boosters Club isn’t huge, we’re close knit. Besides sitting together at games, we also have quite a few parties, activities and various types of get-togethers. I moved to Towson 25 years ago and began regularly attending the college’s games. I joined the Boosters Club almost 20 years ago and after retiring four years ago from being an engineering firm’s COO, I was elected as the club’s president.
We’ve gone through some tough years with the basketball team. Too many losing seasons. We’re optimistic that Coach Aura can turn things around and build a winner. My assessment is that his year 2 team is solid but not great. No real stars. But any one of the starting five plus 3 or 4 of the reserves can take the lead for any given game. We have yet to see the team perform since they’ve played all their games thus far on the road. They finally will get a home game next week when Ball State visits. We’ll be there to cheer them on.
The team has a good sub for each of the five positions. PF seems to be the team’s strongest position with Jason Miner and Jason Vickers together averaging over 16 ppg and 6.5 rpg. Freshman SF Wayne Burrough has been the top scorer on the team thus far, averaging 10.3 ppg and also pulling down 5.8 rpg. He’s ably backed up by Ross Davis. Billy Thomas looks like he could be what the team needs at SG with Ryan Taylor serving as a solid reserve. The two JC transfers, Adrian Brown and Mateen Carroll are doing a good job at PG. At the Center position, Melvin Steele continues to start but Nick McPherson, coming off the bench, is just as strong as Steele. The two have combined to average 13.2 ppg and 7.8 rpg. Bart Rose has played limited minutes, primarily at SF but also at SG and PF, and has shown some good scoring capability.
This team only has two seniors graduating after this season, Nick McPherson and Eric Shannon. Shannon sustained a season and career ending injury in the team’s second game of this season. So that portends good things for next year’s squad, particularly since they’ve got a high quality JC interior player who has signed a Letter of Intent to join the Tigers next season.