By: Matt Hamilton, Tyler Beard, Tyler Young, Kati Day, Jordan Cope
Towson’s students got a break over the past five weeks, but its athletes were still in action. To make up for lost time, we’ve posted updates on each team’s progress over the break.
Towson lost to the UNC Wilmington Seahawks 71-63 on Saturday at Wilmington.
The Tigers (8-12, 4-4 CAA) are in the middle of the Colonial Athletic Association and dropped to .500 after the loss to the Seahawks (8-11, 4-4 CAA).
Junior guard Domonique Johnson, who finished the game with eight points, spoke about the team’s play in the conference over Winter Break.
“During the break, we played the conference’s top teams, so to speak, and we’ve had ups and downs,” she said. “Our main focus is going up on teams and staying up on teams. But we are still fighting for the top spot, and we’re not going to quit.”
Senior forward LaTorri Hines-Allen is the leading scorer for Towson, averaging 18.3 points and 9.3 rebounds per game this season. Johnson is right behind her, averaging 12.6 points 4.0 assists per game.
Towson will look to move up in the CAA when they take on the Delaware Blue Hens (8-11, 3-5 CAA) on Thursday. Towson won the first meeting between the two teams, 56-49.
The game is at 7 p.m. at Newark, Delaware.
Swimming & Diving
Winter break saw the Towson team conclude its dual meet schedule with wins against McDaniel, Delaware and Johns Hopkins.
For the women (10-0, 3-0 Colonial Athletic Association), it marks the completion of an undefeated season in dual meets, something that hasn’t happened for the Tigers since 1972-73, the program’s first year, when they finished 5-0.
“With our women’s team, we have talked about [an undefeated season] consistently the last five or six years,” Head Coach Pat Mead said. “Having the ability to do that is a great credit to not only the women on the team, but also those swimmers we have had in the past.”
The men (8-1, 3-0) ended with just a single blemish on their record, a loss to Old Dominion back in October. But, they are undefeated at home and on a six-meet winning streak.
“Coming off of such an improved season last year, it was really important for the men to show stability with a strong regular season,” Mead said.
Towson still has two invitational meets remaining on its schedule, offering a final tune up before the postseason.
“The next two events are not for our entire team,” Mead said. “We picked out conference team about a week ago and this will give individual swimmers an opportunity to tweak some things before CAA’s.”
The Tigers will now travel to Lewisburg, Pennsylvania to compete in the Bison Invitational against Bucknell, Army, Lafayette, Lehigh and Navy on Jan. 31.
Towson is off to a solid start by locking down their first win this season against Kent State on Jan. 15. It took second in that meet, finishing less than a point behind Missouri.
“We started the season off very strongly,” Head Coach Vicki Chliszczyk said. “But we have room to continue to grow. We’ve made three goals for our first competition and we’ve made three goals for our second, but we haven’t met all three of those goals yet.”
The team’s freshman class helped the Tigers against Kent State. Freshman Tyra McKellar scored 9.775 on the uneven bars while fellow freshman Noelle Harada posted a score of 9.650.
Chliszczyk said that along with the strong group of underclassmen are a handful of upperclassmen that have led the team.
“We also have a strong senior class as far as their experience goes,” Chliszczyk said.
Senior Nicolette Vignola scored a career-high 9.700 on the vault in the season opener and senior Janis Konkle matched with a 9.700 on the balance beam.
As the season continues, the team keeps its goals of competing at NCAA Regional Championships in sight.
Sunday, Towson finished second in its first home meet of the season. It scored 194.525 to finish just points behind North Carolina, but ahead of West Chester and William & Mary.
The Tigers will travel to Texas Women’s University on Feb. 1 at 1 p.m. to compete against San Jose State and Centenary.
Towson began its 2014-15 season Dec. 2 in Annapolis, Maryland, earning victories over Bowie State (107-30), Delaware State (95-42), Georgetown (100-34), Johns Hopkins (108-13), Maryland-Eastern Shore (80-74), Morgan State (91-59) and Mount St. Mary’s (99-42) at the Navy Lid LIfter. While the Tigers were able to down six opponents, they came up just short against Navy in a 95.5 to 71.5 loss.
After its first meet, Towson traveled to Princeton, New Jersey on Dec. 7 to battle the Tigers. In its meet with Princeton, Towson junior Katlyn Davis finished second in the 60-meter hurdles with a time of 8.97. Senior Ashley Simmons also finished second for Towson in the 3,000-meter run with a time of 10:27.82.
Last weekend, the Tigers visited Lewisburg, Pennsylvania for a meet that was hosted by the Bucknell Bison. In its meet, Towson finished second among eight teams after earning 241 points. Junior Katlyn Davis continued her success after tying for first place in the 60-meter hurdles with a time of 8.91.
The Tigers next meet will be in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania on Jan. 31 against the Lehigh Mountain Hawks, where they will look to continue their fast start to the 2014-15 season.