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Towson knocked around by VCU

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

For the second time this season, Virginia Commonwealth proved to be too much for the Tigers.

The Rams (21-5, 12-1 Colonial Athletic Association) took a 66-43 victory at the Verizon Wireless Arena Wednesday night, extending their winning streak to nine games.

“They feast on us,” Head Coach Pat Skerry said. “They’re not a good matchup for us. They are good, though. They are definitely really deep.”

VCU senior Bradford Burgess scored a game-high 22 points, where he made six 3-pointers.

VCU sophomore center DJ Haley recorded a double-double, scoring 10 points with 11 rebounds after registering four of each in his last contest against the Tigers.

In the first game between these two conference opponents on Jan. 25, the Tigers (1-25, 1-13 CAA) surrendered possession 24 times, as the Rams earned a 67-42 win. This time around, Towson gave up the rock 28 times.

Six Towson players, including all five starters, recorded three or more turnovers, led by freshman point guard Kris Walden and freshman guard Deon Jones with five apiece.

“Once again, we guarded well and held them to 42 percent and out-rebounded them. They had 28 turnovers, and [VCU] feasts on teams that don’t dribble, pass or catch well. Clearly, we don’t do that,” Skerry said.

Although Walden recorded six assists, his five-turnover performance comes after registering just three with a career-high 10 assists in the Tigers last game against Drexel last Saturday.

Even though Walden has been a bit inconsistent when it comes to assists and turnovers, Skerry said he feels that the freshman has come a long way since the start of the season.

“He’s got to become a one-to-one [turnover-to-assist] guy. I’m concerned about getting his defense better. He’s definitely been improving though,” Skerry said.

Senior forward Rob Nwankwo led the Tigers on the scorecard, putting up 19 points and finishing just one rebound shy of his 11th double-double of the season.

He also finished with an uncharacteristically low amount of blocks, one.

Sophomore forward Marcus Damas could not find his touch, making just one of six shots from the field, and scoring just three points.

With three weeks left in the regular season, Skerry said he wants his guys to get better at handling the ball.

“We clearly need more guys and we need to be better with the ball. We need more ability with the ball.” Skerry said. “Maybe I haven’t done a good enough job of coaching guys to catch and pass, dribble and get open. We need guys who are better at doing it.”

Towson will return home to host James Madison Saturday.

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