Tigers pound the Pride
Towson recorded its second straight conference win Tuesday night, defeating the Hofstra Pride 69-60.
The Tigers (9-16, 3-11 Colonial Athletic Association) built off of their Sunday win against George Mason by starting Tuesday’s game with a newfound sense of intensity and urgency.
Towson carried a 29-27 lead over Hofstra (12-13, 8-6 CAA) into halftime and the game remained close throughout the second half.
With just under three minutes to go in the game, the Tigers held on to a one-point lead.
Freshman point guard Dominique Johnson began a last-minute 75-second stretch in which she scored seven straight points. She went on to finish the game with 18 points.
Towson Head Coach Joe Mathews said he was pleased with Johnson’s performance, and that she is quickly becoming one of the focal points of the team’s game plan.
“She’s a confident player and believes in her ability,” he said. “She’s probably going to make more plays than she’s not. She’s not in a leadership phase yet, but rather she’s still in the learning phase.”
Winning close games has been no easy task for the Tigers this season, but to finishing on a positive note with a close matchup is not surprising to Mathews, who said he’s been preaching to his players to compete for a full game.
“I think part of it is we’ve talked so long in conference play about playing an entire 40 minutes,” he said. “We’ve had lapses late in games where we lose attention to detail and competitiveness. It was us growing up a little bit and playing a full 40.”
Junior guard Tanisha McTiller led the Tigers, scoring with 24 points, finishing eight-of-18 from the field and six-of-nine from the free throw line.
McTiller and Johnson were the only Tigers to reach double figures in scoring.
Junior forward Nyree Williams led the way for Towson in the paint, totaling 14 rebounds, five points and five blocks.
Williams’ five blocks tied a career high from last season, which was also set against Hofstra.
Freshman guard Alliyah Berger scored eight points and added three rebounds in 27 minutes of play Tuesday night.
Her return from injury last week has helped spark the recent Towson success and she has provided an extra body to an injury-depleted roster.
Tuesday’s win marked the first time Towson has won consecutive games in conference play this season.
It is also the team’s third winning streak of the season and the first since December.
With just four regular season games remaining before CAA tournament play begins, Mathews said he wants his team to focus and believe in each other.
“We haven’t spent much time lately talking about our opponent but more about ourselves which I think has helped us,” he said.
The Tigers return to action Thursday night when they travel to Harrisonburg, Va. to take on James Madison. Tipoff is at 7 p.m.