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Towson gives Drexel all they can handle

5 February 2012 By Sam Smith, Associate Sports Editor No Comments

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Even though the Tigers came up eight points short against the Drexel Dragons Saturday night, they turned out a performance that Head Coach Pat Skerry said he would like to see more often.

The last time the teams met was on Jan. 4 in Philadelphia, where the Dragons (19-5, 11-2 Colonial Athletic Association) took a commanding 60-27 victory.  This time around, the Tigers limited turnovers, won the battle of the boards, and kept pace with the second placed team in the CAA in the 65-57 loss in the Towson Center.

“No moral victories, but I expect that kind of performance to become more of the norm,” Skerry said. “We rebounded and guarded well, which we have kind of consistently done most of the year. Most importantly for us, we didn’t turn it over.”

Skerry said that there are times when his team plays well, which gives him confidence for the future.

“There are moments when we’re really not that far away. That’s why we’ve got to continue to improve with guys and upgrade,” Skerry said.

Sophomore forward Marcus Damas notched a new career-high in scoring with 26 points. Despite going just 6-17 from the floor, all six of his field goals were 3-pointers.

Damas also went 8-9 from the foul line as he led the way for an improved Tiger effort from the charity stripe. Towson, coming off 19 missed foul shots in their last contest against Hofstra, made 70 percent of its free throws.

In the Jan. 4 matchup, the Tigers registered four assists as a team. This time around, freshman point guard Kris Walden played arguably the best game of his career. He finished with a career-high 10 assists while turning the ball over three times. He also contributed eight points on 1-5 shooting from the field and made all six of his foul shots.

“He’s gotten a lot better since Christmas. He’s a tough kid, and I’ve seen a lot of improvements in him and I’ve seen real efforts at leadership,” Skerry said. “I’ve been really happy with him. I think he’s going to be a good player.”

Senior forward Rob Nwankwo played a huge role in the Tigers’ outrebounding of the Dragons. He finished with his 10th double-double of the season with 13 rebounds, 12 points and five blocks.

The Tigers out-rebounded the Dragons 30-34.

Although the Tigers played one of their best games of the season, their offense continues to be their downfall.

It’s no secret that the Tigers struggle to get shots to fall, but the fact that the Drexel defense held them to 34 percent from the field was enough for Drexel to escape with a win shooting 40 percent from the field.

“They have as good a defensive team that we have in the country,” Skerry said. “They are very well coached.”

The Tigers will travel to Richmond, Va.,  Wednesday to face Virginia Commonwealth for the second time this season.

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