Tigers torched by Dragons
Towson fell to Drexel 62-48 Tuesday night after the Dragons (15-6, 8-2 CAA) jumped out to a quick lead, scoring eight of the game’s first nine points. Soon after, the Tigers (7-14, 1-9 CAA) settled down and limited their opponent’s offense.
Head Coach Joe Mathews cited the team’s execution as to why it struggled in the first half.
“We weren’t very aggressive,” Mathews said. “We didn’t execute well, and that is because we faced a very difficult zone defense.”
Mathews also noted that the Drexel defense was the lengthiest defense that the Tigers have faced so far this season. At halftime, the Dragons led 29-14. In the second half, the Towson offense found some success. Led by freshman point guard Dominique Johnson, the Tigers were able to score 34 points in the second half.
With a thin roster still hurt by several injuries, Johnson had to step up and lead the team. She rose to the occasion by scoring 14 points and grabbing five rebounds. Johnson’s improvement during conference play has led Mathews to incorporate her into the offense more. Mathews said he hopes that once the roster is healthy, he can let Johnson run a more up-tempo offense.
“What Dominique does best is play in transition, but she’s been forced to play in half court situations which has given her much needed experience,” he said.
Junior guard Tanisha McTiller also scored 14 points on Tuesday night, but 12 of her points came from the free throw line.
She finished just 1-of-9 from the field.
“Everybody has bad nights. She’s been terrific for most of the year,” Mathews said of McTiller. “Her field goal percentage has been tremendous recently. You’re going to have nights like that, but I give her credit for still playing aggressively.”
While the Tigers finished just 13-of-40 from the field, the team collectively went 20-of-25 from the free throw line. Free throw shooting has been a forte for Towson recently, and Mathews said he hopes his team can get to the free throw line more.
“We have to try to get to the paint and play more inside than outside,” Mathews said.
In the half court offense, the Tigers were much more successful at getting the ball inside in the second half of Tuesday’s game.
Forward Michelle Peebles benefited from the second half low-post offense by scoring 13 points on eight attempts. The Tigers outrebounded the Dragons 31-27, with Peebles leading the team with seven rebounds.
Towson returns to action Thursday night as the team hosts nationally ranked and conference rival Delaware. Tipoff is at 7 p.m.