Towson men’s basketball’s length and athleticism were on full display Thursday night at Coppin State as the Tigers held the Eagles to the lowest point total in the two teams’ 12-game history.
The team’s 51 rebounds are the second-most Towson has recorded since the beginning of the 2021 calendar year.
The lopsided rebounding numbers led to a 21-point win for Towson, 70-49. Coppin State’s 20 rebounds are tied for the lowest recorded against Towson since the beginning of the 2018-19 season.
“You never go in thinking you’re going to win by 31 on the glass, but it’s a big piece of who we are,” head coach Pat Skerry said. “This is a committed group defensively.”
Part of Towson’s monster rebounding numbers included 20 on the offensive end, with 19 second-chance points.
“If we can force people to play against our half-court defense, we’re connected, we’re big, we’re deep, and we’ve got a lot of length,” Skerry said.
Towson’s play on the defensive end should improve more if Nendah Tarke can suit up for the team. He’s waiting for the NCAA to grant him a waiver this season as a two-time transfer. The current play and potential growth on the defensive side of the ball has forward Charles Thompson encouraged.
“I’ve seen it all summer; I’ve seen it when we were up in Canada,” Thompson said. “I’ve seen it in the scrimmages. I just know we can be a very good defensive team. We have guys like [guard Rahdir Hicks] whose calling card has been defense for three years. My calling card is defense. [Forward Tomiwa Sulaiman] is very connected, and he talks to everybody. That’s very encouraging to see.”
After going 0-for-9 in the team’s season opener at Colorado, guard Christian May showed glimpses of his last year’s self, finishing the game with 12 points and nine rebounds on 5-for-13 shooting. Freshman guard Tyler Tejada, who made his second start of the season, finished with 14 points on 5-for-9 shooting.
“I think, honestly, for our team, both Tyler and Christian need to get shots, and they’re going to score the ball for us,” Skerry said. “They’re both gifted guys that we believe in. We talked at halftime about staying aggressive shooting the ball. If we can keep guarding and rebounding, eventually, we’re going to hit a spurt where we make shots, and that’s where we’re able to get some separation.”
Tejada has come out strong to begin his collegiate career. He scored nine points on Monday at Colorado and added to his point total tonight, including back-to-back threes to break the game open in the second half.
“As a team, getting stops on defense led to a lot of transition points and a lot of open threes. Credit to [Rahdir] and [guard Dylan Williamson], who find me a lot of good shots for me to get my shot off.
Towson’s next game is on Sunday at home against Robert Morris at 7 p.m.