Eleventh-seeded Towson (11-21) opened its game against sixth-seeded Drexel (15-14) on a 24-4 run and then survived a second-half Dragons rally as the Tigers picked up a 73-62 upset victory in the final game of the opening round of the CAA Men’s Basketball Championship. Towson will advance to face No. 3 seed Northeastern in the quarterfinals […]
Eleventh-seeded Towson (11-21) opened its game against sixth-seeded Drexel (15-14) on a 24-4 run and then survived a second-half Dragons rally as the Tigers picked up a 73-62 upset victory in the final game of the opening round of the CAA Men’s Basketball Championship.
Towson will advance to face No. 3 seed Northeastern in the quarterfinals Saturday night at 8:30 p.m. Towson has now advanced to the quarterfinals in three consecutive seasons.
Senior forward Junior Hairston led Towson with 24 points on 7-of-11 shooting and 8-of-12 from the free throw line. Jamie Harris, Tramayne Hawthorne and Scott Rodgers all scored 11 points to lead Drexel.
Despite outrebounding Towson 50-40, the Dragons were not able to make the best of their opportunities, shooting 32.8 percent from the field, 16.7 percent from three-point range. The Dragons also struggled mightily from the free throw line, making just 15 of 29 attempts (51.7 percent).
The Tigers scored the game’s first 15 points as they made six of their first seven shots, including an alley oop dunk by Junior Hairston from Rocky Coleman. Meanwhile, Drexel was 0-for-9 from the floor before Leon Spencer connected on a dunk at 13:01 to get the Dragons on the board.
Coleman gave the Tigers their first 20-point lead by cutting through the Drexel defense in the lane and connecting on a layup at 9:46. He then gave the Tigers their largest lead of the game, 26 points, with an 18-foot jumper in the corner at 1:55 to put them up 36-10.
Drexel struggled with its shooting, going just 4-for-23 from the field (17.4 percent) in the first half. The Dragons were without a field goal for a stretch of 9:06 until Gerald Colds connected on a layup at 1:40. Towson ended the half with a 39-14 lead after Hairston hit a fadeaway jumper, drew a foul and made the free throw for the three-point play.
Behind Hawthorne, who scored all 11 of his points in the second half, Drexel mounted a comeback, going on a 17-4 run to come within eight, 49-41. Hawthorne’s strip of Hairston and fastbreak layup at 5:59 brought the deficit back into single digits. Towson, which was held without a field goal from for almost eight minutes during the Dragon rally, finally put the ball in the basket on Coleman’s layup at 5:49 to go back up 10.
Towson took Drexel’s momentum away for good on an alley oop dunk from Brian Morris to Calvin Lee to put the Tigers back up 12, 57-45, with 3:45 to play.
– The information above was provided by Rob Washburn of the CAA