By: Desmond Boyle, Staff Writer
Towson escaped with a 101-97 win in a thrilling overtime barn-burner against the University of Delaware Saturday.
The game opened with the Tigers firing from the perimeter, as Towson went 3-for-3 from beyond the arc and jumped out to an 11-3 lead in the first four minutes. Sophomore guard Byron Hawkins hit two of his three first half 3-pointers in that stretch.
The Tigers then traded buckets with the Blue Hens, as sophomore guard Mike Morsell, junior forward John Davis and Hawkins all hit 3-pointers to expand Towson’s lead to 23-11.
Towson then held a lead around 10 points for most of the second half behind strong shooting from Morsell and Hawkins. The Blue Hens stayed in the game by converting on their free throws, making 15-of-19 shots from the charity stripe, and closed the gap on Towson trailing 38-35 going into halftime.
The teams then played a much slower tempo half as the referees influenced the game by calling fouls tightly. There were a total of 59 fouls called.
Delaware battled back and grabbed its largest lead of the game, by six with 5:45 remaining in the game. Davis then quickly pulled the Tigers back even with two straight 3-pointers.
Davis put on a shooting display for the Tigers in the second half, scoring 18 of his season-high 21 points after the break. Davis also posted a career high by making five 3-pointers in the contest.
“Today my shot was just going in so I kept going to it,” Davis said of his shooting display.
Both teams then battled mostly from the line and eventually regulation ended with the score locked at 83-83. Delaware’s leading scorer in the game, sophomore guard Kory Holden, put up a shot at the buzzer that was short and the teams headed for overtime.
Towson didn’t look back from that point on, hitting 13-of-17 foul shots in the five-minute overtime. Morsell then clinched the game with 38 seconds left by banking a three pointer to give Towson a 94-91 lead. Several foul shots later the time expired and Towson had clinched a 101-97 victory.
“We’ve done some good things offensively the past week and a half,” Head Coach Pat Skerry said. “I’m proud of how my team responded down the stretch.”
The win was bittersweet, however, as Hawkins went down with an ankle injury in the second half and had X-Rays done on Saturday.
The Tigers next game is at the College of Charleston Thursday at 7:30 p.m.