May, Tarke combine for 29 in win over Nicholls

By Jake Shindel, men’s basketball reporter

Towson men’s basketball’s Nendah Tarke made his home debut at TU Arena on Friday against Nicholls, around a month and a half into the season.

Tarke missed the team’s first 10 games while awaiting a waiver decision from the NCAA on whether he would be eligible to play this season since he is a two-time transfer. Tarke initially committed to Nicholls State over the summer but de-committed and chose Towson.

The 6-foot-4, 200-pound guard played a big role on both ends of the court in a 65-55 win for Towson against Nicholls. After scoring three points in the first half, Tarke finished the game with 13 points, six rebounds, two steals and a block. 

“It was great,” Tarke said. “Atmosphere was live; we were rolling on defense so that just united our offense. It was fun playing defense and having the team and the crowd behind you.”

Guard Mekhi Lowery shined on the defensive end in the first half, displaying his length and athleticism by blocking two shots. Towson held Nicholls to 14 points in the first half, the lowest total given up by Towson in a half this season. 

It was a welcomed sight for the Tigers, who gave up 101 points to Bryant in a 2OT loss last weekend.      

“This whole past week, we’ve just been really locked in on defense,” guard Christian May said. “For our team, we’re long and lengthy; that’s how we’re going to win games. That’s how we played tonight; I think our defense was great. Obviously, we didn’t shoot the ball well at all, but because we guarded so well, I think that’s why we won the game.”

The Tigers shot 39.7% from the field and 7-for-28 from 3-point range. The 25% 3-point percentage is Towson’s third-lowest in a game this season. 

A significant reason Towson struggled scoring the ball was because forward Charles Thompson scored just three points, all on free throws. The result was 66 points as a team for Towson, the lowest point total in a win this season.

“Charlie is healthy, Charlie has been unbelievable in practice,” head coach Pat Skerry said. “He didn’t have a good night. We’re not going to get where we want to get without Charlie. I think he got a little bit frustrated with either himself or the officials, but we’re fortunate to get a win. He’ll move on; he’ll be fine.”

Towson was fortunate that Nicholls also struggled from the field, shooting 35.4% and 4-for-17 from deep. 

Nicholls leading scorer and Baltimore native Jamal West Jr. had just two points at halftime but exploded for 19 second-half points to finish with 21. It wasn’t enough, though, as Towson allowed the second-lowest point total all season. 

Tarke and May combined for 29 points to hold off Nicholls. Skerry said he wants to get Tarke more playing time, but he still needs to shake off more “game rust,” having not played in an extended period. 

“I thought [Tarke] was really good defensively,” Skerry said. “I thought he was rusty last week on Saturday. The only way to get him better is to play him and get the other guys used to playing with him. So, we’re trying to kind of force-feed that. But he did a good job for us tonight.”

Despite playing against Nicholls, Tarke felt no added pressure to play well.

“I don’t really need any extra motivation to play,” Tarke said. “It’s an interesting dynamic to play against them, but no extra motivation. Just go out there and play hard, and just try to get the win, as always.”

Jake Shindel has been a member of The Towerlight since the fall of 2020. He has served as a writer, associate editor, Editor-in-Chief, Sports Editor, and now Deputy Sports Editor. He has also held internships with The Daily Record and Baltimore Fishbowl, as well as PressBox Online, the Baltimore Blast, and Towson Sports Network.


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