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TU can’t make it two wins in a row

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

It didn’t take long for the Tigers to return to their old habits.

One game after snapping their historic 41-game losing streak, the Tigers committed 27 turnovers, were out powered on the boards, and missed 19 foul shots in their 74-49 loss to Hofstra at the Mack Sports Complex.

“We’ve turned the ball over all year long. That’s probably the most consistent thing we have done,” Towson Head Coach Pat Skerry said. “We gave up 35 points off of turnovers. That’s impossible, if you give up that many points off of turnovers.”

The Pride entered the contest with just as many conference victories as the Tigers: one.

However, they exited with a 65-37 shot advantage and snapped a three-game losing streak.

Hofstra senior guard Mike Moore, the Colonial Athletic Association scoring leader with 19.3 points per game, led the Pride with a game-high 28 points.

Senior forward Nathaniel Lester added 19 points and co-led the contest with eight boards.

“Both of those guys just took it to us,” Skerry said. “Mike Moore and Lester are clearly the two best players on the floor, not even close.”

The Tigers (1-23, 1-11) struggled on the defensive glass, allowing the Pride (8-16, 2-10 CAA) to earn 20 of their 39 rebounds on the offensive end.

Sophomore forward Erique Gumbs continues to improve on the offensive end of the floor, scoring in the double-digits for the second straight game with 12 points on 4-7 shooting from the field.

Even though Gumbs has said he is trying to become a more aggressive rebounder, he only registered four boards in 31 minutes of play.

Gumbs made just two of his seven foul shots.

Senior forward Robert Nwankwo scored nine points and pulled down eight rebounds, but turned the ball over a game-high seven times.

Freshman point guard Kris Walden, who played his most well-rounded game of the season in the win on Saturday, scored 10 points, but committed six turnovers.

The only player that Skerry felt played a solid game was sophomore forward Marcus Damas. However, he had a tough time getting shots to fall, shooting just two of his eight from the field on his way to seven points.

Jervon Pressley got into foul trouble early and only played nine minutes, but that opened the door for redshirt freshman Alex Giergen to log a career-high 28 minutes. He scored five points, including a 3-pointer and two foul shots.

As a team, the Tigers are last in the CAA rankings when it comes to free-throw percentage, making 56 percent of their foul shots. Against the Pride, they made 42.4 percent of their free throws, sinking just 14 of 33 shots from the line. The Pride, on the other hand, made 15 of their 21 free throws, a 71 percent clip.

“You hope it’s not a mental thing, and it certainly could be,” Skerry said. “Twenty-four games into the season, free-throw percentage is what it is. We shot worse than we normally do from the foul line. Statistically, we are not a good free-throw shooting team. I don’t think guys are trying to miss. They are doing a good job of getting to the foul line.”

The Tigers return to the Towson Center to face Drexel (18-5, 10-2 CAA) on Saturday.

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