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Tigers’ streak ends at four

19 February 2012 By Danny Kiddoo, Staff Writer No Comments

Towson’s four-game winning streak came to an end Sunday in a final-minute loss to Hofstra 69-66.

Hofstra forward Shante Evans’ finished with 29 points and 20 rebounds.

Her 15 second-half rebounds proved to be the difference in the eyes of Towson Head Coach Joe Mathews.

“Shante Evans is one of the best rebounders in the country, not just the [Colonial Athletic Association],” Mathews said. “She’s a force to be reckoned with. And we’re not the first team to surrender 15, 20 boards to her. And we won’t be the last.”

Towson led 34-30 at halftime and trailed in the boards’ battle by one. Hofstra out-rebounded the Tigers 48-32 for the game.

The Tigers found themselves ahead by as many as seven points with five minutes to play in the game.

But with 43 seconds left, Hofstra had possession with the game knotted 66-66.

Towson managed to stop the Pride three times with the help of two blocks by sophomore forward Nyree Williams.

However, the Tigers could not gain control of the ball. The team surrendered three offensive rebounds before Hofstra’s Nicole Capurso drained a go-ahead 3-pointer on the Pride’s fourth chance on the possession.

The Tigers were able to call a timeout and draw up a play for freshman Ciara Webb to potentially tie the game, but could not find an open look.

“I felt we played great on the road,” Mathews said. “We just made too many mistakes. Ultimately the rebounding and some key turnovers prevailed for Hofstra. Their team played down the stretch and we didn’t.”

Forward Deree Fooks finished with 20 points and eight rebounds. Fooks now has at least eight rebounds in each of her last five games.

After two straight games without a turnover, point guard Krystal Parnell struggled with eight giveaways and shot 20 percent from the field.

Despite missing practice with a hamstring injury, sophomore Tanisha McTiller managed 11 points in 28 minutes before being forced out of the game.

“She has a hamstring strain,” Mathews said. “She played fairly well, considering the injury. But it just got to he point where she couldn’t do it anymore, and she was not in there for some key defensive plays. She’s our best defensive perimeter, so it was a little bit hurtful in that regard. We could have had her in there, getting her arms on somebody, but we didn’t put her in at the end as a precaution.”

The loss, paired with George Mason’s overtime win against Georgia State Sunday, puts the Tigers and Patriots even in CAA standings. Towson defeated the Patriots on Thursday at the Towson Center to gain sole possession of seventh place in the conference standings.

“We have three games left. We could finish anywhere from four to nine [in the standings],” Mathews said. “We’re just fighting. All you can do is prepare for the next game.”

The Tigers continue their road trip on Thursday in Wilmington, N.C., before the team’s final home game of the regular season against Drexel Sunday at the Towson Center.

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