Tigers beat Seahawks in last game of regular season
Towson closed out the regular season with a 66-57 road win over UNC-Wilmington Wednesday night.
The win is the team’s third in a row and fifth out of the last six games.
Towson (12-17, 6-12 Colonial Athletic Association) came out flat to begin the game, as UNC-Wilmington (3-25, 2-15 CAA) jumped out to a quick 9-3 lead.
Behind the stellar play of junior guard Tanisha McTiller and forward Nyree Williams, the Tigers were able to settle in and take control offensively.
McTiller finished the game with 13 points and 11 rebounds, her eighth “double-double” of the season.
“She’s our best player,” Head Coach Joe Mathews said. “You have to have your best player play big on the biggest stage.”
McTiller’s “double-double” was accompanied by Williams’, who scored 12 points and recorded 10 rebounds.
The leading scorer for the Tigers against the Seahawks was senior forward Michelle Peebles, who scored 14 points.
Peebles, McTiller and Williams all reached double figures in scoring. Freshmen Alliyah Berger and Dominique Johnson and sophomore forward Markell Smith also added nine points each.
Towson out-rebounded UNC-Wilmington 38-31.
The Tigers took just 50 shots but converted on 23 of them, giving the team a shooting percentage of 46 percent. Towson also made 14-of-19 free throws.
With the regular season over, Towson will shift focus to the CAA tournament. The Tigers enter the nine-team tournament as the No. 7 seed and will face James Madison on Friday, March 15. The Tiger’s winning streak will give the the team confidence in conference play, Matthews said.
“I think they feel really good,” Mathews said. “I think they feel best that two of those wins were against teams who are seeded above us.”
The Tigers have just over a week until the game against JMU, which gives Mathews time to prepare his upset-minded team for the tournament.
“We’re still improving,” he said. “But first is rest and then we need to sharpen up offensively as well as how we prepare for games.”
Towson faces a tough task against a James Madison squad that finished second in the CAA this season.
“They are a very long, athletic team,” Mathews said. “We struggled at their place offensively, but I think we’ve done a pretty good job the last few games of scoring. You always want to defend well but ultimately you have to put the ball in the basket to win.”
If the Tigers upset the Dukes, they’ll face the winner of the Drexel vs. William & Mary game. The semifinal game is scheduled for March 16.