By Jake Shindel, men’s basketball reporter
Toward the end of the first half, Towson’s Mekhi Lowery blocked a shot and got hit in the face. Morgan State’s Wynston Tabbs was ejected, and Towson used the momentum to close the half on a 6-0 run.
The ejection was costly for Morgan State, who was led by Tabbs’ eight points before his ejection with less than two minutes until halftime.
From there, Towson held the lead and defeated Morgan State, 67-58, in the first game of the Charm City Hoops Classic on Sunday night.
“It’s just basketball. Things got a little physical, got a little heated,” said guard Tyler Tejada, who had some words for Tabbs after the hit. “I was just sticking up for my teammate, just like anybody else would.”
Head coach Pat Skerry didn’t read too much into the situation.
“Both teams are playing hard and got good players,” Skerry said. “You want to make sure guys keep their emotions in check.”
Chase Paar led Towson in the first half, scoring all 10 points in the first 20 minutes of the game.
“We were talking about it all week of me playing a little bit at the four,” Paar said. “Whatever the coaches need me to do to help us win, I’m there for, so I just came in, did everything I could, and helped out.”
Skerry used a lineup featuring both the team’s centers, Paar and Charles Thompson. In nearly 11 minutes on the floor together, Towson outscored Morgan State 21-9.
Mekhi Lowery’s length and athleticism were displayed in the game, as the 6-foot-6, 200-pound guard recorded six rebounds, two blocks and a steal.
“He’s doing a good job…” Skerry said. “He’s going to be a good player. He’s still a little bit like Bambi on ice out there, but he is active; he’s a tough kid.”
Four of Lowery’s rebounds came on the offensive end, helping Towson win the offensive rebounding margin 21-10 and 47-29 overall.
“Coach preaches day-in and day-out physicality, beating them on the glass,” Paar said. “We went into the game knowing we were going to have a size advantage, especially with me and Charles both in at the 4 and 5, so we just took advantage to that, and I think it helped us a lot in this game.”
The team is still without guard Nendah Tarke, who has not played this season due to a waiver process with the NCAA. With guards Jaiden Cole and Rahdir Hicks also out, Skerry said the team could use Tarke.
“We haven’t gotten word. We have four guards that are out right now. We’re a little dysfunctional, position-wise,” Skerry said. “Hopefully, we get good news tomorrow. You can see we could clearly use him.”
Tarke’s next chance to play will be Friday when the team travels to Sioux Falls, South Dakota to take on South Dakota State. Tipoff is scheduled for 8 p.m.