Towson falls to archrival Delaware
In the final home game of a rough 2011-2012 season, the Tigers (1-29, 1-16 Colonial Athletic Association) reached a season-high in scoring, but fell to Delaware (16-12, 11-6 CAA). The Blue Hens pulled away in the final minutes of the contest to earn a 76-69 victory at the Towson Center Wednesday night.
Although the Tigers were as close as one point with 3:12 left in the contest, the Blue Hens’ ability to get layup and free throw opportunities proved to be the downfall for Towson, who committed 28 personal fouls in the contest and allowed 32 points in the paint.
“Good win by Delaware. Obviously they are playing as well as anybody in the conference. They have won six straight and they had a little bit of that edge, just kind of knowing how to win in the nuts of the game, where we don’t have that yet,” Towson Head Coach Pat Skerry said. “I was disappointed in the amount of fouling. We don’t teach fouling. That let us down, and our defense let us down.”
Delaware freshman guard Jarvis Threatt registered a game-high 29 points. He made 16 of 19 shots from the foul line. Sophomore guard Devin Saddler, the team’s leading scorer, averaging 18.6 points a game, scored 17 points, including a perfect 7-7 from the foul line.
“Threatt has been playing very well. Twenty-nine points is a heck of an effort. We put the guy on the foul line 19 times. Whether we were reaching in or not getting in front of him on charges, that’s disappointing and that’s a reflection on me and our half-court defense,” Skerry said. “We spend far too much time on building walls and taking charges and getting in gaps.”
Even though senior forward Robert Nwankwo recorded his 14th double-double of the season—his fourth consecutive—he fouled out with 13 seconds left and the Tigers trailing by six. His playing career in the Towson Center had come to an end with a loss. The fans gave him a standing ovation.
“It hurt. The last seconds of the game, you want to be on the floor, you want to see if you can change the outcome of the game. At that point, there was nothing I could do,” Nwankwo said. “Senior Night was pretty good. Not much I can really say. I wish I had ended this game with a win. As a senior I can say, I came, I saw, and although I didn’t conquer, I competed.”
Nwankwo ended with 12 points, 14 rebounds and three blocks in 34 minutes, while freshman point guard Kris Walden scored a career-high 18 points on 6-13 shooting that included three 3-pointers.
“It’s been rough. We decided to come out in the second half and be aggressive and attack and put some points on the board,” Walden said. “I was just taking what the defense was giving me. Rob was doing a great job of setting screens, as well as Erique [Gumbs] and the other bigs on handoffs and doing a great job of giving me lanes to drive the ball.”
Sophomore Marcus Damas contributed a team-high 21 points, making four 3-pointers.
Senior Night also marked the final home games for the two walk-ons, Deyon Cook and Bryan Blackstone. Cook made his first career start.
The Tigers will play their final game of the regular season Saturday when they travel to James Madison for a 4 p.m. tip-off.