By: Desmond Boyle, Staff Writer
Courtesy of towsontigers.com
Sunday Nov. 12 marks the beginning of Head Coach Diane Richardson’s first season with Towson as the Tigers take on UMass at 2 p.m. in Amherst, Massachusetts.
Richardson takes over after Niki Reid Geckeler resigned after four years in charge of the program. Previously, Richardson spent time at West Virginia as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator. She hopes to bring a similar style of basketball from Morgantown to Tigertown.
“[We play an] up tempo style,” Richardson said. “We work hard, push the ball on offense and we are going to get after you on defense.”
A big part of improving upon last year will be playing with intensity for the full 40 minutes. Richardson hopes high energy practices will lead Towson to put in more consistent performances.
“Our practices have been very efficient and we push the tempo the entire time,” Richardson said. “There’s no standing around, we are pushing the pace from start to finish.”
The Tigers hope history repeats itself in the season opener. Towson picked up a 90-56 win over UMass in the first game last season. To repeat the big win, Richardson said the Tigers will need to control the tempo.
“UMASS will try and slow us down and play zone defense so we need to get after them early,” Richardson said.
Towson will look to returning players like senior forwards Mary Cuevas, Daijha Thomas and preseason All-CAA honorable mention senior guard Raine Bankston. Bankston led the Tigers in assists with 84 and Cuevas lead the team in rebounds with 183 last season.
Towson welcomes a new face to the lineup. The Tigers added graduate transfer Kayla Davis from Xavier. Davis plays a similar full press style that fits Richardson’s system.
UMass, who finished 9-21 last season, picked up a 79-66 win over Kutztown in their first exhibition game of the year. The Minutewomen open their season on Friday against Maine Fort Kent.