By Jake Shindel, men’s basketball reporter and Waindim Tufoin, contributing writer
Towson men’s basketball guard Dylan Williamson erupted in the second half for a second straight game.
Last Saturday, his late-game heroics and 14 second-half points lifted Towson over Delaware on the road. On Thursday night, he scored 23 points in the second half on an efficient 7-for-9 shooting to lead Towson (14-8 overall, 7-2 CAA) over Northeastern (8-14, 3-6) at TU Arena, 83-76.
Williamson moved from the starting lineup to the bench on Jan. 18. Since then, the team has won five straight games, with Williamson scoring nearly 14 points per game during the stretch.
The win marked Towson’s 18th-straight win at TU Arena, a streak dating back to last season.
It was an important night for Towson, who moved into sole possession of second place in the conference after the win and a Charleston loss. Drexel also lost, putting Towson half a game out of first place.
Towson struggled throughout the first half, shooting 33% from the field. The Tigers stayed in the game because of its free throw shooting after going 8-for-9 in the first half and 26-for-29 overall.
It was a welcomed sight for Towson, who is shooting just 63% from the charity stripe this season as a team.
“Really proud of our guys for doing an unbelievably great job at the foul line,” head coach Pat Skerry said.
The Tigers tied the game at 47 in under five minutes after back-to-back steals. Williamson stole the first one, which led to a Tomiwa Sulaiman slam, and Sulaiman stole it on the next possession. Williamson scored the layup through traffic to tie the game.
“I feel like it was very important for us. It gave us a boost of energy, and then from there on out, we were on go,” Williamson said.
Skerry credited the crowd for showing up in the second half after Towson was down by seven at the break.
“I thought it was a great crowd tonight,” he said. “That really helped us. The energy in the building in the second half felt like a real home-court advantage. I know we’re appreciative of that.”
Williamson finished with 26 points, shooting 8-13 from the field and 5-9 from three, and he hit all five of his free throws. He also collected two rebounds and four assists.
The Tigers flipped the script from the first half, shooting 53% from the field in the 2nd half, 5-for-7 from three, and 18-for-20 from the free-throw line to pick up the win.
Towson travels to New York to face the Hofstra Pride (12-10, 5-4) on Saturday at 6 p.m.