Morsell Carries Tigers over Tribe
By: Tyler Beard, Assistant Sports Editor
Sophomore guard Mike Morsell’s career-high 34 points helped Towson win 99-82 against William & Mary Saturday.
“I’m really proud of our guys for beating a really good team,” Head Coach Pat Skerry said. “We’ve got good players and if we can stay committed to guarding the rest of the way, then we can get to where we want to get to.”
The Tigers (18-9, 9-5 CAA) jumped out to 18-9 lead early in the first half after the team hit four 3-pointers in the stretch.
However, the Tribe (17-8, 9-5 CAA) cut the Tigers’ lead to 28-27 with six minutes left in the first half after junior forwards John Davis and William Adala Moto got into foul trouble.
Sophomore guard Byron Hawkins, who returned to the lineup after a foot injury, scored five straight points after the Tribe cut the lead to one point. Hawkins finished the game with 18 points and six assists.
Towson took a 12-point lead a few minutes later after Morsell scored eight straight points and the team had a 46-37 lead at halftime.
Morsell shot 4-of-7 from beyond the arc and also went 8-of-10 from the free-throw line.
“My shot was just falling tonight, so it was just a good night,” Morsell said. “We warm up the same every game and I think we just came out with more energy.”
The Tigers kept a consistent lead in the second half and weren’t challenged until the Tribe cut the team’s lead to 58-55 after a free throw from Omar Prewitt.
Hawkins responded with a 3-pointer and back-to-back layups from Morsell, and redshirt freshman guard Jordan McNeil put the Tigers ahead by 10 points.
“We’re real competitive in practice and I think that helps fill the void,” sophomore guard Eddie Keith said about the Tigers’ depth. Keith finished with 10 points off the bench and senior forward Tamajh Parker-Rivera had seven points and 11 rebounds.
Towson had four players score in double-digits and the team shot 12-of-26 from beyond the arc. It was a transformation for a team that shot 2-of-23 against Northeastern, last Thursday.
The win put Towson into a three-way tie for third place in the CAA standings with just four games remaining on the schedule.
“There’s two weeks left, we got to grind this out,” Keith said. “If we don’t think about winning, like Coach [Skerry] said in the locker room, then we might as well hang it up now. I think we’re very deep, like Coach always says, and I think we can win it all.”
The Tigers’ next game is away against the Hofstra Pride (18-8, 10-4 CAA), who are in second place in the CAA. The game is Thursday at 7 p.m.