By: Desmond Boyle, Staff Writer
The Tigers came up with a hard fought and emotional 67-56 win over Elon during Autism Awareness week this past Saturday.
“I mean, it means a lot,” Head Coach Pat Skerry said, after the win. Skerry’s son has autism. “My players see it because I talk about it, every family has trials and tribulations. For me it’s important to raise awareness.”
Towson got off to a fast start to the game as junior guard John Davis hit a three pointer to give Towson an 8-2 lead just three minutes into the game.
“We know how much this means to coach,” Davis said. “Actually I have an autistic aunt, so I know what it means and just to bring more awareness to people who don’t know about it, it definitely gives more firepower to go out and play hard for our coach who battles for us every day.”
Good perimeter shooting from several Phoenix players allowed Elon to score 10 points in a row, freshman forward Tyler Seibring had five of those points during the run.
Elon then built a 5-point lead after freshman guard Steven Santa Ana hit a three pointer with 12 minutes to go in the half.
Then sophomore guard Eddie Keith II capped off a 7-2 run for the Tigers with a three pointer from the corner with 9 minutes left in the half.
Later, with 6 minutes left and the game locked at 22-22 Towson scored 11 of the final 15 points in the half.
Solid defense and smart passing enabled the Tigers to finish the half on such a strong run and lead Elon 33-26 at halftime.
“We didn’t guard the way we wanted to on Thursday night [in an 84-82 loss to Hofstra],” Skerry said. “But we got back to playing Towson basketball today, challenging them defensively, and challenging them on the glass.”
Elon only shot 27 percent from the field in the first half while the Tigers managed to pull down 12 more boards than Elon. Towson’s half time lead would again prove decisive as the Tigers are now 18-0 this season when leading at halftime.
Throughout the opening 8 minutes of the first half Towson held around a 10-point lead, until poor shot selection and sloppy defense allowed Elon to close the gap to 46-41 with 12 minutes left.
After a timeout, Towson came back composed as senior forward Timajh Parker-Rivera would score five of the next 10 points for the Tigers to help them gain a 13-point lead with 5 minutes to go.
Towson was able to close out the game with more consistent defense and solid shooting from the line. The Tigers finished the 67-56 victory with seven more second chance points then Elon and twelve more rebounds.
“It was a hard fought win, great win and a great day,” Skerry said. “Autism awareness, it means a lot to me. I see the guys in the blue uniform [for autism awareness] every year it means a little bit more.”