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Jan. 16, 2021: Towson Tigers (7-8, 3-1) at Drexel Dragons (6-9, 2-2)

Melvin Steele, C

We hit 55% of our shots in the first half and spurted out to a 40-26 halftime lead.  PF Jason Minor dropped in 8 points and pulled down 7 rebounds.

We continued to dominate the Dragons in the 2nd half and steadily extended our lead to end up with a 75-53 drubbing of Drexel.  We hit 49% of our FG attempts and 9 of 16 from beyond the arc.  We held Drexel’s shooting to 32%.  The win kept us tied with Delaware for 1st place in the Colonial Athletic Association.

I was really happy that PF Jason Minor had a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds.  He’s had some games where he has struggled.  SG Ryan Taylor scored 11 and SF Wayne Burrough and SG Billy Thomas both popped in 10 points.

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Jan. 19, 2021: James Madison Dukes (10-6, 3-2) @ Towson Tigers (8-8, 4-1)

Coach Frederick Aura

The team has been coming together better as the season progresses.  At times we’re still making too many turnovers but things seem to be improving on that front.  Offensively we’re scoring well and shooting well from inside the 3-point line but not too well from outside it.  We really need to improve our defense since teams are scoring too easily against us.  But our defense was solid in our last game so that was a good sign.

While our starters at PG (Adrian Brown), SG (Billy Thomas), and SF (Wayne Burrough) are definitely set, I think I could start either Jason Miner or Jason Vickers at PF and could start either Melvin Steele or Nick McPherson at C.  Miner is a better rebounder while Vickers is a better scorer.  Steele is a better scorer while McPherson is a better rebounder.  For now I’m continuing to stick with Miner and Steele starting.

James Madison had a strong pre-conference schedule and did well with it, but then lost their first 2 conference games before reeling off 3 straight wins. They have a nice inside-outside scoring duo with SG Chris Archey (12.9 ppg) and C Felipe McMillian (13.7 ppg).  A primary objective for us is to keep either of them from breaking loose.  The Dukes’ offense is equal to ours but their defense has been stronger than ours.

1st Half:

We started strongly and opened a 12-5 lead but then let the Dukes score 8 unanswered points and take the lead.  The game stayed close until the last few minutes of the half when James Madison pulled away to take a 37-32 halftime lead.  I’m upset that we made 12 turnovers so will need to get on the guys about that in the locker room.  We also let Chris Archey score 12 points.  We can’t continue to let him get free.

2nd Half:

We scored the first 5 points to tie the game, but the Dukes immediately struck back to score 8 unanswered points.  We then scrappily came back to go ahead 52-49 with 11:20 to go.  We then fell behind and try as we might we just couldn’t pull back into the lead.  We ended up with a disappointing 74-70 loss.  The Dukes got to the line 4 more times, scored 4 more points on free throws and that was the difference.  Not good losing at home.  It felt like we gave it away tonight.

SG Billy Thomas scored 14 plus had 7 rebounds, C Melvin Steele had 12 points and 6 boards, and SF Wayne Burrough and PG Adrian Brown both added 11 points.  C Felipe McMillian had a big 2nd half for James Madison and ended up with 19 points.

With the loss we’re now in a 3-way tie for 1st place with James Madison and Delaware as the bumpy road through the Colonial Athletic Association schedule continues.

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Jan. 23, 2021: Delaware Fightin’ Blue Hens (7-10, 4-2) @ Towson Tigers (8-9, 4-2)

PG Adrian Brown

The competition level is a lot higher this season than when I played JC ball the last two years.  I'm feeling good about it though.

I love going up against a team we’re tied with for the lead in the conference.  After losing our last game at home, Coach Fed drummed into us how critical it is for us to DOMINATE from the opening tip off to the final buzzer when playing at home.  He said we need to have a “Take No Prisoners” attitude since it’s OUR home and nobody’s gonna take another game away from us at OUR home.

We started slow but SF Wayne Burrough carried us to help us get back into the game.  But we couldn’t hit our shots (31% from the field and 13% of our 3’s) plus the refs whistled us for 15 fouls which put Delaware on the line 23 times where they made 18 points.  Just 6 fouls were called on the Fightin’ Blue Hens.  We had 4 players with 2 fouls and 2 players with 3 fouls. Coach Fed was all over the refs and got a T just before the end of the half.  We ended up on the short end of a 42-27 halftime score.  SF Wayne Burrough was our only player who played well.  He scored 12 points, but he’d been called for 3 fouls.  Coach Fed chewed out our butts during halftime. 

We again had a bad start in the 2nd half and fell behind by 17 points, but then began to slowly whittle down Delaware’s lead.  Finally with 3:24 left we tied the game at 61-61.  Jason Vickers was fouled with 2:50 to go and sunk both free throws to put us ahead by 2.  We then took control and pulled away for a solid 78-68 win.  While we didn’t dominate for most of the game, we came through when it counted.  Defensively we held Delaware to less that 40% from the field in the 2nd half and forced the FIghtin’ Blue Hens to commit 22 turnovers compared to just 8 by us.

Our star was SF Wayne Burrough who tossed in 18 points.  C Nick McPherson had 12 points and 6 boards.  PF Jason Miner hit for 11 points, grabbed 5 rebounds, and had 4 steals.  I shot horribly but still scored 11 points.  SG Ryan Taylor added 9 points (all in the 2nd half).

We’re now tied for 1st with James Madison but 3 teams are just one game behind.

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Jan. 26, 2021; Towson Tigers (9-9, 5-2) @ NC-Wilmington Seahawks (7-11, 3-4)

Tiger Blog

Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2021:

The Tigers pulled out a win at home earlier this week.  That gives them a 4-2 home record.  Going into the game at NC-Wilmington, Towson is 5-7 on the road.

Freshman SF Wayne Burrough is averaging 11.4 ppg.  JC transfer PG Adrian Brown has scored 9.9 ppg, SG Billy Thomas is averaging 9.5 ppg, C Melvin Steele has scored 8.7 ppg and PF Jason Vickers has scored 8.6 ppg.  C Nick McPherson is the Tiger’s top rebounder with 4.8 rpg followed by Wayne Burrough with 4.6 rpg, Melvin Steele at 4.2 rpg, and PF Jason Miner with 4.1 rpg.  The assists leader is Adrian Brown with 3.6 apg and PG Mateen Carroll has 3.1 apg with Billy Thomas having 2.2 apg.

Towson is averaging 76.0 ppg which is the highest offense in the Colonial Athletic Association.  But defensively they are giving up 75.9 ppg, which is second worst in the Conference (Charleston is has given up 80.4 ppg). 

Rumor has it that Coach Frederick Aura is so disturbed by how poorly his team starts in many of its games that he is considering changes to the starting lineup just to shake up his team.  We’ll let you know if that happens.

Towson journeyed to Wilmington, NC to take on North Carolina-Wilmington tomorrow night.  NC-Wilmington’s guard Mike Clay is the league’s leading scorer averaging 16.7 ppg.  Clay has had several games where he has nearly scored 30 points, so containing him could well prove difficult for the Tigers.

Thursday, Jan. 26, 2021, Summary of Towson’s game against NC-Wilmington:

Nick McPherson was inserted into Towson’s starting lineup at C in place of Melvin Steele for this game.  Steele has often picked up quick fouls at the beginning of games. Coach Aura also switched Jason’s when Jason Miner was benched in favor of Jason Vickers at PF.  Aura also moved starter Adrian Brown from PG to SG in the starting lineup and started Mateen Carroll at PG.  It had been rumored the past few days that Aura was going to shake up the team to try to stir them from their frequent doldrums. The only starter to not be changed was freshman SF Wayne Burrough.

The Tigers played well in the first few minutes of the game but then couldn’t hit the side of a barn with their FG attempts and fell behind 26-11.  Towson came back to cut the Seahawks’ lead to 6 points but then fell apart in the latter stages of the half to trail 47-34 at the break.  SF Ross Davis and SG Ryan Taylor each scored 6 points for the Tigers while SG Mike Clay carved up the Tigers’ defense for 16 first half points.

Towson picked up their scoring in the 2nd half but their efforts to cut into the lead were repeatedly squashed by their very porous defense.  NC-Wilmington inflicted a punishing 86-71 crushing of the Tigers.

Mike Clay scored 24 to lead the Seahawks.  For Towson SG Billy Thomas scored 13, SG Ryan Taylor scored 11, PF Jason Vickers and SF Wayne Burrough both scored 10, and SG/PG Adrian Brown had 9 points and 7 assists.

After the game Coach Aura said, ”Even though our revised starting lineup didn’t light things up, I’m hoping it got our guys realizing that they need to begin producing in order to start.  Thus far the conference is topsy-turvy.  So we’re still in 1st place but now tied with 3 others for that spot with 3 more teams just a game behind.  We really need to begin playing better and play that way consistently.”

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Posted (edited)

Jan. 30, 2021: Northeastern Huskies (11-8, 5-3) @ Towson Tigers (9-10, 5-3)

CDR, USN(R) Paul Jonovich, fan

This is the first game I’ve been to in a long time.  I came down with coronavirus and it knocked me flat.  So I spent far too long in the hospital and then underwent a long convalescence.  I thought I was taking decent precautions, but got the feeling the country had the virus under control and let down my guard.  Big mistake!  Messed up me, messed up my family, messed up my relations with friends.  I’m now a convert…be careful, take all preventative measures seriously.  Even though the disease is “under control”, it’s still out there and attacking since there still is no vaccine.  We continue to see spikes here and there throughout the country.

But it’s great to finally get out and enjoy a basketball game.  Towson’s had an up-and-down season thus far.  I’m hoping they have an UP tonight and begin to get it together and put together a long win streak.  The team hasn’t inspired its fans this season so there are plenty of empty seats in SECU Arena.  That makes it easy to socially distance.

The two teams matched each other for the first 10 minutes.  Midway through the half, Towson was on top 18-17.  The Tigers then went into a complete tailspin, shooting poorly, turning the ball over, and playing shaky defense.  Northeastern took advantage of their ineptitude and pulled away to a 39-27 halftime advantage.  In those horrible 10 minutes I could see why this team has failed to achieve this season.  No one on the team seemed able to grab the reins to reel in the stampeding team.  For Northeastern, SF Mike Clyburn poured in 10 points.

When the Tigers returned to the court for the 2nd half, they looked lost and feel behind by 21 points with 13 minutes to go.  While Towson picked up their level of play after that, they didn’t have enough fuel in the tank to catch up and lost 75-69.  By pulling down 7 fewer rebounds and by making 6 more turnovers than Northeastern, the Tigers just gave the Huskies too many chances.

SG Billy Thomas scored 14, PG Adrian Brown added 11, and PF Jason Miner finished with 10.

After losing another home game Towson is now in a 3-way tie for 3rd place in the conference.

Edited by PointGuard

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Feb. 2, 2021: Elon Phoenix (6-14, 4-5) @ Towson Tigers (9-11, 5-4)

Coach Frederick Aura

I should be exalting to be playing a home game, but we’ve not played well at home.  Our record at SECU Arena is 4-3.  But all we can is try to get back on-track tonight as we start the 2nd half of our conference schedule.  We beat Elon in OT 81-80 on their court previously this season.  SG Adam Sasser (14.3 ppg) and PF Darius Cockle (13.3 ppg) are the Phoenix’ go-to guys.  But their C Amir Dissinger scored 17 against us as did Cockle when we played them.

C Melvin Steele carried us offensively early but we couldn’t pull away from Elon.  Midway through the first half we clamped down defensively and opened a 10 point lead.  Then our offense began clicking and by the end of the half my guys had opened a 41-25 lead.  We hit 51% of our FG’s and 44% of our 3’s while holding Elon’s shooting to 41% on FG’s and 29% of 3’s.  C Melvin Steele had a big half scoring 11 points for us.

Six minutes into the 2nd half our lead had grown to 27 as our offense continued to sizzle.  With 9 minutes remaining we led 69-37.  Our lead expanded to 34 and we ended the game with an 83-53 thrashing of the Phoenix.  We dropped in 53% of our FG attempts and the same percentage of our 3-point attempts.  We scored 83 points even though we only went to the foul line 3 times.  All 11 of our players scored andl also had at least 1 assist aand 10 of them had rebounds.  We dominated the boards 38-24 and had a 10-7 turnover advantage.  The Phoenix hit just 38% of the FG’s and 25% of their 3’s.  This is the kind of dominance we need to be achieving at home!

Leading us was C Melvin Steele with 15 points and 8 rebounds.  PG Adrian Brown scored 12.  Instead of scoring 17 points as he did in our previous contest with Elon, C Amir Dissinger was held scoreless in this game.

We’re now tied with 3 other teams for 2nd place in the conference, one game behind first place Northeastern.

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Hit the Books!

Harry Iacona, 3rd Assistant Coach

I’m still working with Mateen Carroll and Adrian Brown to try to improve their grades.  They’ve been agreeable to studying more and we’re continuing those efforts.  I’ve given them a goal to improve their GPA from a C+ to a B by the end of the season.  The GPA’s for the rest of the players are above a 3.0 so we’re happy with that.

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Feb. 6, 2021: Towson Tigers (10-11, 6-4) @ William & Mary Tribe (9-12, 6-4)

Michael Snoddy, 2nd Asst Coach

William & Mary has been on a roll lately.  They’ve won 5 of their last 6 games.  We need to stop that roll and get on one of our own.  We need to have some success early so we get confident and then take control.  That’s not been our forte, so it’ll be a big challenge.

We hung with the Tribe for the first 10 minutes but then simply fell apart….turnovers and a total defensive letdown.  William & Mary ran away to sport a 49-31 halftime lead.  The Tribe hit 59% of their FG attempts.  Coach Aura laid into the team in the locker room about their abysmal defensive effort.

Our guys’ play improved in the 2nd half and we cut the lead to 10 with 14:45 to go.  We continued to edge closer and with 10 minutes to go we trailed 67-61.  A minute later we were with 4 points of the Tribe.  Then with 6:16 remaining Wayne Burrough slipped free to bury a pretty jumper and cut the lead to 71-69.  But from there a series of turnovers and missed opportunities doomed our effort to finish the comeback.  We ended up losing 87-77.  Our 2nd half shooting improved our overall shooting percentage to 52% but William & Mary got to the free throw line 10 more times and scored 7 more points there than did we.  Ultimately though it was our 21 turnovers that foiled a strong 2nd half effort.

C Melvin Steele hit for 18 points, PG Mateen Carroll scored 13, and SG Billy Thomas and PF Jason Minor both scored 11.

We slipped into a 3-way tie for 4th place although we’re only one game behind the 3 teams tied for 1st place.

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Posted (edited)

Feb. 9, 2021: Charleston Cougars (8-15, 5-6) @ Towson Tigers (10-12, 6-5)

Jason Miner, PF

When we played Charleston on their court earlier this season, we lost 90-83 but there were 24 lead changes and 12 ties.  We’re determined to reverse the outcome tonight.  Two of my teammates from high school have come to tonight’s game.  It’s been a while since I’ve seen them, so I’m hoping we do well.

We came out firing and ran away to a 17-7 lead with 13:16 left in the first half.  Our lead ballooned to 29-8 with 9 minutes left.  We let the Cougars cut our lead to 8 with 5 minutes remaining but then put on a long run that gave us a 48-32 cushion at the break.  We outshot Charleston 56% to 32% and held a 23-17 rebounding advantage.  SF Wayne Burrough and PG Adrian Brown both scored 10 points.

We maintained a 17-26 point lead throughout the entire 2nd half and easily won 93-73.  We hit 53% of our FG attempts and 58% of our 3’s plus controlled the boards 41-33. 

SF Wayne Burrough had a strong double-double with 22 points and 11 boards.  I also had a big night with 17 points and 7 rebounds.  Maybe my old teammates being in the stands fired me up some.  It was nice to get their pats on the back when we met up after the game for some beers.  PG Adrian Brown scored 14 and dished out 7 assists.  C Mark Ress scored 19 and picked off 10 rebounds for Charleston.  Ress pissed me off though since he was very adept at fouling without being detected and he knew it so was a pretty dirty player.

The win moved us back into a tie for 2nd place in the conference along with 3 other teams with Northeastern holding down first place, one game ahead of us.

Edited by PointGuard

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Feb. 13, 2021: Towson Tigers (11-12, 7-5) @ Hofstra Pride (8-15, 4-8)

Alex Haywood, walk-on PG

While there is little likelihood I get to play, at least I get to travel with the team.  I spent a year at a JC before coming to Towson.  Couldn’t wangle a scholarship, but they took me on as a walk-on this season.

Hofstra is a team we should beat, but it took us 2 overtimes to wear them down to the point where we could win when we played them on our court.  So this is no gimme.

We used the 3 to carve out a 42-38 halftime lead.  We knocked down 7 of 14 shots from beyond the arc.  Our leading scorer was PF Jason Vickers with 9 points but C Melvin Steele got 8 points and 6 rebounds in the half.

We clung to a small lead throughout the 2nd half like it was a lifeline on a treacherous icy mountain slope.  But with 1 minute to go the Pride hit a 3 that tied the game.  Then we turned the ball over and they hit a jumper to put them ahead by 2.  Coach Fed called a time out and designed a pick and roll that Mateen Carroll and Billy Thomas executed to perfection to tie the game at 72-72 with 15 seconds to go. With 4 seconds left, Jason Vickers picked off a pass and lofted up a long desperation shot that missed the mark taking us to overtime.

The lead shifted back and forth in the first 3 minutes of OT but then Hofstra pulled ahead by 3 and we had to foul in the final minute.  With 5 seconds left we had a chance to tie if we could knock down a 3, but our shot was way off the mark and we dropped the game 86-83.  As in our last game, turnovers were our downfall…all 23 of them.  So Coach Fed will be all over us when we get back on the practice court.

PF Jason Vickers scored 19 plus had 3 steals and a block.  SG Ryan Taylor hit for 11 points and C Melvin Steele and SF Wayne Burrough added 10 with Burrough also hauling down 10 boards.

We’re now tied for 3rd place, 2 games behind conference-leading Northeastern.

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Feb. 16, 2021: Drexel Dragons (10-14, 6-7) @ Towson Tigers (11-13, 7-6)

Robert Cornetski, security

Hi, I’m a volunteer who helps with security at the games.  Main responsibility is to keep people from getting on the court and direct people to the right area for their seating.  We haven’t had much problem with the fans, so I haven’t had to break up any fights or anything like that.  But volunteering lets me get to all the home games and not have to pay.

I really like the coaches and the guys on this season’s team and keep thinking they will get on a nice win streak, but the season is getting down toward the end so I guess that’s not to be.  Towson rolled over Drexel 75-53 when they played earlier this season.  I hear that Northeastern lost today, so if the Tigers win tonight they will be back within a game of first place with 4 games left to play.  Only one of the last 4 games is at home though.

I hear that Nick McPherson strained his hamstring.  Sounds at though he can play, his time on the court will be limited by the injury.

Towson got out to an early 10-4 lead.  Then I was told a fan was causing a problem at the concession stand.  I went out and walked into a hot argument between the fan and the concessionaire.  I tried toning things down, but when that didn’t work I was able to move the fan to the side to talk individually to him.  It took a while, but finally he settled down and I was able to return to the sidelines.  By then the score was 30-15 in Towson’s favor.  But my presence seemed to bring some bad luck to our team.  The Dragons then went on a run that cut the Tigers’ lead at the intermission to 40-35.  Our point guards, Mateen Carroll and Adrian Brown combined to score 15 of the teams’ 40 points.

Both teams had a slow start in the 2nd half.  The Tigers held onto a small lead throughout the 2nd half but couldn’t pull away from Drexel.  With 2 minutes left Towson led 72-69.  Then the Dragons sunk a 3 to tie the game.  Wayne Burroughs dropped in a jumper to put the Tigers up 74-72 with 1:22 to go.  Melvin Steele got called for his 5th foul with 42 seconds on the clock.  Drexel made just 1 of 2 free throws to cut the lead to a single point.  The Dragons intentionally fouled.  Billy Thomas missed the front end of a one-and-one and Drexel rebounded and called a time out.  With 17 seconds to go, Wayne Burrough picked off a pass and passed to Adrian Brown.  Drexel immediately fouled.  Brown sunk both foul shots to put the Tigers up by 3 with 15 seconds remaining.  Drexel worked the ball to C Tyrone Jackson who looked to have an open shot from near the foul line, but Adrian Brown quickly moved over and wisely caught Jackson’s elbow as he shot throwing the shot off.  Jackson went to the line with 5 ticks on the clock.  He bricked the first shot and you could hear a collective sigh of relief from the entire home crowd.  His 2nd shot rimmed out and that was the game.  The Tigers pulled out a squeaker 76-73.  Not a pretty win, but a win is a win.

SF Wayne Burrough was high point man with 15 points.  PG Adrian Brown scored 13 and PG Mateen Carroll added 10.  Drexel’s bench scored 44 of their 73 points.

Towson is now tied with Delaware for 3rd place in the Colonial Athletic Association, one game behind Northeastern and William & Mary which are tied for 1st place.

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Feb. 20, 2021: Towson Tigers (12-13, 8-6) @ James Madison Dukes (13-12, 6-8)

Matt Heard, walkon SF

Coach Fed worked us hard in practice the past couple days.  I got the feeling he’s frustrated with how we’ve been playing.  Actually I think most of us are.  We just can’t string together a series of games where we play well.  So that means were inconsistent and no one likes being inconsistent.  It was a 3 hour bus trip to Harrisburg, VA where we will take on James Madison.  They beat us by 4 points on our court.  Time for some payback.

I tried psyching guys up before the game.  The two teams played evenly early but then the Dukes moved ahead by 7 points midway through the half.  Our guys struck back though and went on an 10-0 run to go ahead 24-21.  I was cheering the guys on from the far end of the bench.  The half ended in a 34-34 tie.  PF Jason Vickers led our scoring with 7 points.                                                            

The 2nd half was a real tussle with the lead exchanging hands repeatedly.  With 7 minutes remaining we held a slim 58-57 lead.  But James Madison got hot and with 42 seconds to go we trailed by 5 points.  Coach Fed called a time out to set up a 3 point attempt and Wayne Burrough buried it to cut the Dukes lead to 70-68 with 31 seconds remaining.  Rather than foul we applied a lock down defense, forced a tough shot and recovered the rebound with 22 seconds to go.  We missed a 3 but got the rebound and called a time out with 7 seconds on the clock.  The pick play didn’t work so Adrian Brown drove, pulled up to put up a contested 8 footer that went off the rim and we went home with a 70-68 loss.  Another tough defeat.

PF Wayne Burrough had 13 points and C Melvin Steele hit for 12.  The Dukes’ C Felipe McMillian scored 19.

We remain tied with Delaware for 3rd place in the conference.

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Feb. 23, 2021: Towson Tigers (12-14, 8-7) @ Delaware Fightin’ Blue Hens (11-15, 8-7)

1st Assistant Coach Omar McDade

Delaware’s 2-3 zone completely stymied us early and we fell behind 20-7.  Even though we began hitting some shots in the final 10 minutes of the half it wasn’t enough to really get back into the game.  When the buzzer sounded we were down 36-27.  We had hit just 31% of our shots and 17% of our 3’s.  We’d been called for 14 fouls while only 5 were assessed against the FIghtin’ Blue Hens.  With the exception of C Melvin Steele who scored 9 points, the rest of our starting lineup was toast.

Things went from bad to worse in the 2nd half.  We fell behind by as much as 22 points and never made any kind of run.  We ended up being trampled 76-57.  We hit just 36% of our shots while allowing Delaware to knock down 49% of theirs.  We made 7 more turnovers than the Fightin’ Blue Hens.  Our team is a puzzle.  I keep thinking they will gel but they just never do.  While Crash (Coach Aura) and I didn't expect we'd be a really strong team, we figured we'd have done better than we have thus far.

PG Mateen Carroll and C Melvin Steele both scored 11 points with Steele also pulling down 9 rebounds.  Our two starting guards (Brown and Thomas) scored a total of 2 points, hitting 1 of 12 shots.

We’re now in a 3-way tie for 4th place.

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Feb. 27, 2021: NC-Wilmington Seahawks (11-16, 7-9) @ Towson Tigers (12-15, 8-8)

Rayal Montrose, HS Senior

Came to the game tonight with a couple of my homeboys.  We go to Castlemont HS and play b-ball there.  Upped my average from 11 ppg last year to 16 this year.  Trying to latch on to a scholarship to play ball since my family doesn’t have the bucks to front me for going. Thought I”d be getting some offers, but so far, no go.  CJ (he’s our 1 on the team) thought maybe I might make some contacts here so we all drove over.  Stands aren’t near full but nice court…sure as hell beats where we play.  And I hear their training room is fine as well. 

Towson’s defense schooled the Seahawks early…steals, blocks, missed shots.  Kept NC-Wilmington from hitting a shot from the field for near 5 minutes.  SG Ryan Taylor subbed in and splashed in a couple quick 3’s to put the Tigers up 19-7 with 12 minutes to go.  Towson tore up the Seahawks in the first half.  Went ahead by 20 and led 47-33 at the break.  Tigers hit 57% of their shots and controlled the boards 18-12.  The Tigers’ guards hit 12 of 20 from the field with Ryan Taylor scoring 10, Adrian Brown 8, Billy Thomas 7, and Matt Carroll 2.  They held NC-Wilmington’s SG Mike Clay (who came in averaging 17.5 ppg) to 2 for 11 shooting.

Except for Brown and Thomas raining in some 3’s, the rest of the Towson team came out of the locker room looking flat.  7 minutes into the 2nd half, PF Jason Miner worked around his man and threw down a monstrous dunk that seemed to fire up the Tigers.  With 12 minutes to go, Towson led 68-47.  The Tigers then coasted on to an 86-66 thrashing of the Seahawks.  Towson hit 51% of their FG’s, 44% of their 3’s, and dominated the boards 35-26.

PG Adrian Brown stroked in 23 points, SG Billy Thomas finished with 14 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists, 4 steals and 2 blocks, and SG Ryan Taylor added 10 points.  The Seahawks’ Mike Clay hit just 4 of 19 from the field including a miserable 1 of 9 from beyond the arc.

Towson is now in a 3-way tie for 3rd place.

CJ pulled one of the Tigers assistant coaches over after the game.  Got to talk him for a little bit, but he didn’t seem all that interested in me.  Ta hell with Towson.  Their loss.

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Mar. 2, 2021: Towson Tigers (13-15, 9-8) @ Northeastern Huskies (18-10, 12-5)

Perry Winkle, Athletic Director

What a roller coaster season.  I decided to travel with the team for their final regular season game.  Tough to end with an away game against the #1 team in the conference.  PG Adrian Brown strained his hamstring in practice.  While he is expected to play, his performance is likely to be hampered.  It’s the kind of injury that is probably going to limit him as well when we go into the conference tournament next week.

We played well in the first half, leading by 8 points midway through the half.  But Northeastern is good and came back to take a 39-36 halftime advantage.  They scored 7 more points than us from the line.  SG Ryan Taylor and PF Jason Miner both scored 9 points. 

The game stayed close throughout the 2nd half, but in the latter stages Northeastern took a 6 point lead and threatened to blow it open.  But our guys fought back and with 3:22 left we trailed 65-63.  With just over a minute to play, Coach Aura called a time out to set up a 3 point attempt which the team executed perfectly and Ryan Taylor’s shot swished through the silks to make it 70-69 in favor of the Huskies.  Northeastern then turned the ball over.  Another time out led to a slick pick and roll with Billy Thomas driving to the bucket to give us a 1 point lead with 41 seconds remaining.  The Huskies tried to work it inside but we stymied them.  After a kicked ball they worked the ball around outside and hit a 3.  We again called a time out with 10 ticks on the clock.  Thomas again drove but his shot went off the rim and Northeastern quickly brought the ball up court.  We tried to foul and did so but as they were shooting a last second 3 that went in.  They hit the free throw as well and we lost a heart-breaker 77-71.  The refs sent the Huskies to the line 9 more times where they scored 9 more points than did we.

SG Ryan Taylor was our top scorer with 15 points.  Following him were SG Billy Thomas with 12 and C Melvin Steele and PF Jason Vickers who both scored 10.  Unfortunately our two PG’s, Adrian Brown and Mateen Carroll totalled just 4 points between them.

Had we won we would have been tied for 2nd place, but the loss tumbled us down to sole possession of 5th place.  I don’t really think it matters where we finished in the standings because I’m guessing the conference tournament will be a jumble as I believe any team can beat any other team.

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Posted (edited)

COLONIAL ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION TOURNAMENT

Excerpts from Baltimore Sun sports pages:

Day 1: Play-in Games

#10 seed Charleston Cougars (10-20, 7-11) vs #7 seed James Madison Dukes (15-15, 8-10): Led by C Mark Ress who scored 18 and pulled down 11 rebounds as well as getting 2 steals and 3 blocks, Charleston scored a minor upset 77-63.

#9 seed Drexel Dragons (12-18, 7-11) vs #8 seed NC-Wilmington Seahawks (12-18, 8-10): This game was a toss-up, but Drexel came on strong in the 2nd half to whip the Seahawks 74-61 as SG Kevin Williams scored 16 and PG Ryan Killion hitting for 15.

Day 2: Quarter-final Games

#9 seed Drexel Dragons (13-18, 7-11) vs #1 seed Northeastern Huskies (19-10, 13-5): After trailing by 3 points at the break, Northeastern had to come back in the latter stages of the 2nd half to post a 77-73 victory.  The Huskies SG Tony Patterson topped all scorers with 16 points.

#10 seed Charleston Cougars (11-20, 7-11) vs #2 seed Delaware Fightin-Blue Hens (13-16, 10-8): Following a tight first half, Delaware opened a 14 point lead in the 2nd half, only to have to hold on at the end as Charleston made a desperate run before losing to the FIghtin’ Blue Hens 81-74.  PG Rufus Brooker scored a season-high 23 points for Delaware.

#6 seed Elon Phoenix (10-19, 8-10) vs #3 seed Hofstra Pride (14-15, 10-8): In yet another close game, Hofstra was able to hold off Elon to win 73-66.  Hofstra’s C Colin Leith scored 14 while grabbing 7 rebounds, but the high point man for the game was Elon’s Darius Cockle who finished with 17 points.

#5 seed Towson Tigers (13-16, 9-9) vs #4 seed William & Mary Tribe (13-16, 10-8):  Towson beat the Tribe by 14 at home and lost by 10 on their court.  The odds-makers said this game was a 50-50 tossup.  The Tigers’ PG Adrian Brown was still not 100% after straining his hamstring.

William & Mary scored the first 6 points as Towson blew several easy inside attempts.  The Tigers continued to blow opportunities and played a soft defense.  They fell behind by as much as 12 points and finished the half trailing 45-36.  William & Mary outshot the Tigers 57% to 36%.  Only SG Billy Thomas had a good half.  He scored 14 and had 5 rebounds.

Towson continued their lackadaisical play for 5-1/3 minutes in the 2nd half and then trailing by 11, they went on an 16-1 run that gave them their first lead of the game at 61-57.  The refs then seemingly called fouls against Towson on every possession by the Tribe causing the Tigers to fall behind by 4 with just over 4 minutes to play.  The refs continued to work over the Tigers allowing William & Mary to come away with a 79-73 victory.  Towson’s 37% shooting was their death knell.

SG Ryan Taylor hit for 21 and Billy Thomas (who played PG as well as SG since PG Adrian Brown’s injury made him ineffective) scored 17.  For the Tribe, PF Matt Holt had 19 points and 12 rebounds.

Coach Frederick Aura said, “We made a great effort to come back and grab the lead.  Then there were a series of questionable calls against us that turned the game around.”

Day 3: Semi-final Games

#4 seed William & Mary Tribe (14-16, 10-8) vs #1 seed Northeastern Huskies (20-10, 13-5): William & Mary held a 31-24 halftime lead, but Northeastern came back in the 2nd half to come away with a 64-64 tie at the end of regulation play.  The game went back and forth throughout the entire overtime period, but with the game tied, PG Michael Phelan sank a 3 with 2 seconds on the clock to gain WIlliam & Mary a 75-72 upset over the Huskies.  Phelan and PF Matt Holt both scored 20 points for the Tribe.  Holt also had 9 rebounds.

#3 seed Hofstra Pride (15-15, 10-8) vs #2 seed Delaware FIghtin’ Blue Hens (14-16, 10-8): In a game that was close throughout, Hofstra came away with a 66-58 win.  SG Shannon Myers came off the bench to lead the scoring for the Pride with 15 points.  Hofstra’s bench scored over 50% of the Pride’s points.

Day 4: Championship Game

#3 seed Hofstra Pride (16-15, 10-8) vs #4 seed William & Mary Tribe (15-16, 10-8): The first half was close but Hofstra was in control most of the way and led 30-25 at the break.  But the Pride ground the Tribe down in the 2nd half and came away with an impressive 70-56 win to punch their ticket for the Big Dance.

Edited by PointGuard

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2020-2021 Season Recap

Colonial Athletic Association Final Standings

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Towson Tigers Player Stats

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Omar McDade

We have nursed what little is left of our recruiting budget throughout the entire winter.  Last week we finally offered our last remaining scholarship to SG Werner Kaempfer from Germany.  He looks to be a solid performer.  From what we’ve seen on game films, he has a sweet outside shot and can also score well inside.  We’ve recruited him on the cheap…just a whole series of phone calls since we don’t have the bucks to do anything more with an international recruit.  He’s definitely showing interest in us, but I have no idea who else may be working to get him to come to their school.  Unfortunately we won’t have the money to do a home visit like we’d usually do this spring to try to seal the deal.  So if he doesn’t commit we may have to withdraw the scholarship and go after a recruit in this country who we stil have enough money to visit.

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Post Season Tournaments

NCAA:

Hofstra (17-15) plays Northwestern State (17-14) for a #16 seed to take on #1 seed Memphis in the West Region.

Hofstra defeated Northwestern State 76-67 with bench players David Perine scoring 16 points and SG Landry Townes adding 14 points to lead them on to the first round of the Big Dance.

Hofstra was trounced 77-56 by Memphis.  C Colin Leith scored 12 points for the Pride.

Syracuse beat Ohio State for the National Championship.

CBI:

Northeastern (21-11) is the #1 seed in the West Region and will play #8 seed Belmont (17-13).

Northeastern cruised to a 91-70 spanking of Belmont.  SF Mike Clyburn dropped in 21 points to lead the Huskies to their victory.

In the second round Northeastern took on Oregon State.  The Huskies had no trouble and rocked the Beavers by a score of 79-56.  SF Mike Clyburn had an awesome game, scoring 38 points and getting 4 rebounds, 1 assist, 3 blocks and 2 steals.

In Round 3 Northeastern was matched up against Iowa.  The first half ended with Iowa on top 29-27.  Iowa opened an 11 point lead in the 2nd half but then Northeastern came back.  But the Huskies came up just short, losing 74-70.  C Jimmy Roberts was Northeastern’s top scorer with 12 points.

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Omar McDade

We just finally got the SAT results for Werner Kaempfer, the German recruit we had offered the scholarship to.  He didn’t have a high enough SAT to qualify for our college.  So we quickly withdrew our offer.  We had been able to visit C Darrick Thorne who is from Hammond, Indiana and he was very enthusiastic about us.  So we issued our scholarship offer to him in late March.  We didn’t have sufficient remaining funds to do anything but continue to call him, but hoped he’d decide to accept our offer.

In early April, Thorne accepted a scholarship offer from North Carolina.

We made a last gasp offer to a slick point guard from Arizona.

Due to our budgetary shortage this year, Coach Aura petitioned the board for more money in upcoming years, but his request was denied.

We were unable to gain enough traction with the final recruit to whom we had offered a scholarship so the year will end with one unfilled scholarship.  We’ll have 4 seniors with scholarships on next season’s roster, so rather than having a 5th scholarship to offer during recruiting season, Coach Aura wants to try to land a transfer player this summer.

Our lone new incoming recruit will be PF Deon Penn.  He averaged 17.4 ppg, 3.8 apg, 8.5 rpg, 2.0 bpg, and 3.1 spg in his final season at West Linn CC in Linn, Oregon.  He’s the 41st highest ranked recruit in the country.  He’s a great scorer, particularly inside.  He’s also a very strong rebounder and has good passing skills.  He’s a ball hawk.  I think he will be able to make an impact for us immediately.

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Coach Frederick Aura:

I met with Perry Winkle, our AD.  He wasn’t happy about our overall performance and particularly how we did in the conference tournament.  But he said he’s still in my corner.  So much so I guess that his 2 goals for next season were so easy to accomplish that it’s not even worth repeating them here.  But I know that in his heart he’s hoping for a big improvement this coming season.  Well, so am I!  He said he knew that some colleges were interested in my taking their head coaching jobs and said that while he would never block me from looking, he hoped I would be staying here at Towson.  I told him I haven’t achieved the improvement in the Tigers that I had set for myself, so had no intention of leaving.

I told him we intend to go after a transfer player and that if we are able to get a strong player that way it could have a big impact on our upward development even though it won’t be for 2 years from now.  I told him that we are likely to narrow our scope for recruiting this coming season.  Last season we had thought maybe we could get a high school player from outside the region.  I now think that while that is still possible, it’s unlikely so we’ll focus on Maryland and the region around us since a lot of recruits want to play somewhat near home.  That will help conserve our limited recruiting budget and that will be even more important this coming season when we will have 4 openings, rather than the 2 we had this previous year.

We discussed my staffing and he thought maybe it was time to look for an upgrade in my assistant coaches.  But when I mentioned that the board had turned down my request for a budget increase, he had to admit that we probably just need to stick with whom we presently have.  Sure as hell can’t get anyone better for the low salaries we’re paying.  Anyway, our less that stellar season wasn’t the fault of my assistant coaches.  We’re going to be in trouble after next season though, since this is the last remaining year on all their contracts.  If we want them to stay, they’re going to want more money, of which we are in short supply.

Perry’s had a tough year. He and his wife separated a few months ago and while they haven’t filed for divorce, it seems as though they are pulling further and further apart.  His uncle also came down with Covid19 a month ago and is in the ICU at a hospital in another state so he’s very concerned about whether his uncle will recover.

As this season ends, I’m hoping for a better year for Perry.  I’m also hoping for a better year for our team.  It’s time to take an upward step in our progression.

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2021-2022 SEASON

Perry Winkle, Athletic Director:

SF Bart Rose has decided to transfer.  Coach Aura says he was pretty much a loner so hadn’t fit in well with the players or coaches. His playing time had been very limited in the two seasons he had been here, so I imagine he also is looking to get picked up by a program that can offer him more.

Coach Aura says that means they may try to pick up two rather than one transfer player in June.

 

TRANSFERS

Coach Frederick Aura:

We aggressively pursued transfer players in June.  We were focused totally on trying to pick up high quality players.  We were more successful than I had expected.  While we missed out on one high flyer, we landed two very talented guys:

C Donny Flint, 6-9, Soph, who as a freshman at Butler, averaged 13.2 ppg and 9.9 rpg.  He was the Big East Freshman Player of the Year and made their All-Conference 1st Team.  He’s very talented and is a great scorer and rebounder and an excellent defender who gets a lot of blocks and steals.  He’s got the skills to really be a huge force for us.  We were able to snag him because we’ve heard that he can be a disruptive force within the team so others may have been afraid to take a chance on him.  Hopefully we can keep that in check.  Otherwise, he may leave us after a single season of play.  We plan to work to improve Flint’s GPA during this coming year while he’s unable to play for us.  He’s from Aurora, Indiana.

SG Dominick Collins, 6-0 Soph, who as a freshman at USC came in off the bench to average 3.5 ppg, 1.5 apg, and 1.4 rpg.  He’s still developing but has outstanding potential as an outside scorer with excellent ball handling and passing skillspaly so he may PG rather than SG for us.  For his size he’s a great rebounder.  His defensive instincts and abilities are strong although still developing.  He’s from Battle Creek, Michigan.

FYI:  Bart Rose transferred to Western Carolina.  I called and congratulated Bart and also called Javon Thompson, the head coach for the Catamounts, to provide praise about Bart.

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Recruiting

1st Assistant Coach Omar McDade

We only purchased the basic scouting report for the Atlantic East and will only attend the Big Apple Showcase in order to conserve recruiting funds this year.  We have 4 scholarships to fill and would like to land 2 PG’s and a big man and take the best available regardless of position for the final scholarship.

Our efforts to land two strong performers during the transfer period together with what we spent on the scouting report and the upcoming recruiting camp have reduced our remaining recruiting budget to $39,800.  That’s better than last year (when we spent a lot on scouting reports and attending camps) but we have twice as many scholarships to fill this year than we did last year.  We’re focusing on recruits within our region this year rather than doing the shot-gun approach for the entire country we employed last year so that will help conserve our funds.

When the recruiting season actually began we made slow progress in getting recruits to be interested in Towson.  But we had a reason number showing some interest, but few showing a lot of interest, when September rolled around and we began offering scholarships.  We lost out on several since we were shooting pretty high. 

But in late September we got our first verbal commitment from Copley Dwiggins, a 6-1 SG, who is beginning his senior year at Winters Mill High School in Westminster, MD.  Dwiggins is presently ranked the #281 best recruit, but he has been substantially higher ranked earlier this year.  He’s a great outside shooter and scorer but needs to work on the aspects of his game.  His high school coach says he isn’t a leader but doesn’t cause problems.  He averaged 18.8 ppg, 2.0 rpg, 0.7 apg, 0.4 bpg, and 0.7 spg last season.  We’re hoping he matures and develops well in his last season of high school ball so that he can contribute as soon as he arrives at Towson.

Then in late October, Matt Faust, a 6-1 PG who is at a junior college in Gainesville, Georgia, gave us a verbal commitment.  Faust is the 337th ranked recruit, but also has been ranked higher earlier this year.  He’s a good shooter from outside and is an adept passer and ball handler.  He also is strong defensively.  Last season he averaged 14.1 ppg, 3.0 apg, 3.4 rpg, 0.5 bpg, and 1.4 spg in his first season at the JC. Since we’re losing both of our PG’s to graduation after this season, hopefully Matt can step right in to direct our team.

Still 2 scholarships to fill.  We’re working hard on two guys and have a bunch of others still on our list, but really don’t expect any scholarship acceptance until the spring.

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