By: Jalon Dixon, Staff Writer
File Photo by: Amanda Bosse/ The Towerlight
Towson fell in the quarterfinals of the Colonial Athletic Association Tournament to Northeastern, 72-62. The loss marks the final game as Tigers for redshirt senior forwards Nakye Sanders and Dennis Tunstall, as well as senior guard Brian Fobbs.
“I told the guys in the locker room, Dennis, Nakye, Brian; top ten-win improvement in the country,” head coach Pat Skerry said. “Played well, did it with not a lot of guys. I appreciate those guys for getting us back to where we normally have been. Obviously, we are disappointed in our tonight but unfortunately, that is a part of the deal. Not a great night to have one of our subpar performances.”
The Huskies led 6-2 early, but Fobbs and sophomore guard Allen Betrand hit consecutive layups to tie the game. Fobbs would conclude his final collegiate game with 21 points, the only player on either team to reach 20. Northeastern finished the half on a 13-7 run and led 33-23 going into the half. The Huskies doubled Towson’s points in the paint scoring 20 in half one.
Early in the second half, Northeastern increased their lead to 45-31 after a 8-3 run. The Tigers struggled with turnovers committing 15 in the game. The Huskies scored 20 points off turnovers and only committed seven.
“We have had better nights executing,” Skerry said. “We stepped out of bounds a few times. We shot at the hands. I mean our shooting percentages reflect that on a couple of guys. 15 turnovers is way too many for a team that has been pretty good at taking care of the ball most of the year.”
Fobbs, sophomore guard Jakigh Dottin, and CAA sixth man of the year redshirt freshman guard Nicolas Timberlake stepped up and scored 18 of Towson’s next 20 to bring the lead within four once again by the score of 55-51 with 6:56 left in the game.
Despite the aggressive scoring run by the Tigers offense, turnovers and foul trouble would start to hurt them down the stretch. Northeastern would close the game on 17 to 11 run including eight points off free throws. Towson committed three turnovers and nine fouls in the final seven minutes of the game.
“That is what happens when the ball gets into the ‘red zone,’ that you are going to put your frontcourt guys in harm’s way,” Skerry said. “I thought we left our feet a lot when the ball got in there and we were kind of all over the place.
The senior frontcourt of Sanders and Tunstall combined for 18 points and 12 rebounds. Dottin scored nine points and collected three rebounds.
“It hurts,” Timberlake said. “This probably is going to stick with us. I know it is going to stick with me, Kigh [Jakigh] and Jason (Gibson). We are going to be ready for next year. That is for sure.”
The Tigers finish this season having their best record since the 2016-2017 season, and had five players named All-CAA recipients.