Towson’s win streak ends at JMU
Towson’s two-game winning streak came to an end Thursday night with a 79-45 loss to James Madison.
In the team’s fourth game in seven days, the Tigers (9-17, 3-12 Colonial Athletic Association) failed to start the game with much intensity. Towson traveled to Harrisonburg, Va. coming off one day of full rest, which was evident in the loss.
“Do I think we were fatigued? Possibly,” Head Coach Joe Mathews said. “We had four games in seven days. To go to Georgia State and George Mason and then home against Hofstra was tough. The first half we had pretty good energy. They just started getting out in transition on us. I think the team fought hard though.”
Towson struggled to contain James Madison’s athletic offense, headlined by guard Tarik Hislop. She and forward Jazmon Gwathmey each scored 17 points for the Dukes.
Scoring wasn’t as easy for the Tigers, as no player on the team scored more than 10 points. Junior guard Tanisha McTiller and forward Nyree Williams each reached that 10-point mark.
A key to the Tigers’ offensive struggles is they had fewer scoring opportunities than the Dukes. James Madison attempted 66 shots, compared to 50 by Towson.
The difference in shot attempts can be attributed to the Dukes’ presence in the rebounding game. They out-rebounded the Tigers 43-30.
While rebounding has been a strong point for the Tigers this season, Mathews noted his team struggled against a much more physical James Madison squad.
“They’re very athletic at every spot. They’re very long,” Mathews said. “It comes down to having a little more heart and determination to secure and we lacked that. In the first half they were missing a lot of shots but got a lot of put backs.”
The fatigue of the Towson players comes from the fact that the team is still dealing with several key injuries, limiting the amount of depth on the roster.
The depth has improved recently, though, as freshman Alliyah Berger has been re-inserted into the lineup after missing several weeks.
Berger and McTiller led the Tigers in rebounding Thursday night, recording seven rebounds each.
McTiller also added two steals and Williams had a block.
Berger’s 15 minutes off the bench greatly boosted the team as it provided one more extra body to a depleted team.
“She provides a little bit more of a spark off the bench,” Mathews said. “She’s playing well.”
With a week to prepare for its next game, Mathews said he plans on getting his team rested and healthy.
“We’ll take some time to recover and take care of our bodies to get ready for the final stretch,” he said.
The Tigers return to action Thursday, Feb. 28 when they host Northeastern. Tipoff is at 7 p.m.