TU falls to Delaware
Towson fell to Delaware 76-44 Sunday. The Tigers (6-10) were unable to keep pace with the national powerhouse Blue Hens (13-3).
Towson jumped out to a quick start and lead 16-15 with 8:17 to go in the first half. However, after the half, All-American Elena Delle Donne took over for the Blue Hens. Delle Donne is widely regarded as one of the nation’s best players and scored 12 points during a Delaware 18-4 run to end the first half.
She went on to finish the game with a season-high 38 points and four steals.
When asked about defending Delle Donne, Head Coach Joe Mathews said he decided to not give her any special attention.
“It was one of those situations when you have to question yourself as a coach,” Mathews said. “Do you emphasize her or the other players? We played her straight up and challenged ourselves to the rest of the team.”
While Delle Donne lead the way for the Blue Hens, the Tigers had a star performer of their own.
Junior guard Tanisha McTiller led Towson in scoring with 21 points and added 10 rebounds. It was McTiller’s fifth “double-double” of the season and her fourth since Colonial Athletic Association play began.
Mathews cited McTiller’s move to shooting guard for her recent success as a rebounder.
“Tanisha was playing point guard exclusively, but Dominique Johnson allowed Tanisha to get to the off guard spot and crash boards,” Mathews said.
Another key contributor for the Tigers Sunday was senior forward Michelle Peebles, who matched a career high with 17 points.
“Michelle is progressing and has had some really good stretches this year,” Mathews said. “We’re going to need another consistent offensive scorer.”
Finding another scorer alongside McTiller has been a problem for Mathews. Since conference play, the Tigers have experienced numerous injuries and are down to just seven main contributors.
The lack of depth and experience has damaged the value of practices, Mathews said.
“We’re down to seven players,” he said. “It hurts in a practice environment. When you have 10 of 12 players having one year or less in the program they need more practice. That’s the biggest thing. Hopefully we’ll get some people back.”
Problems resulting from lack of depth and experience have not been kind to the Tigers, as the team is 0-5 in CAA play after going 6-5 in non-conference games.
The problems were noticeable in Sunday’s game, as McTiller and Peebles combined for more than half of the team’s shots.
Both players each finished the game 7-of-14 from the field, while the rest of the team combined to finish 2-of-18.
Towson, however, did out-rebound the Blue Hens, winning the battle on the boards 33-29.
The Tigers return to action Jan. 24 when the team travels to William & Mary. The game is set for 7 p.m.