By: Jacob Shindel, Contributing Writer
Towson University’s (TU) Men’s Basketball team lost the first game of their series against the College of Charleston 90-88 in double overtime on Feb. 6 at TD Arena in Charleston, SC.
The game went back and forth the entire way, as the largest lead for either team was just eight points. Sophomore guard Jason Gibson had a chance to win the game for the Tigers (3-11) in the final seconds of double overtime but missed a three point attempt as time expired, giving the Cougars (6-8) the win in a very tough battle.
After the Tigers went up 17-11 over halfway through the first quarter, the Cougars stormed back, putting together a 18-7 run to take the lead. The Tigers were down 32-29 at halftime, but ended on a 5-0 run after redshirt senior guard Zane Martin converted an and-one layup and then sophomore forward Charles Thompson hit a jumper off of a steal by redshirt sophomore guard Nicolas Timberlake.
Thompson led the way in scoring for the Tigers throughout the first half, with 10 points off of 5-6 shooting. Martin scored 9 points in the first half off of 4-9 shooting. For the Cougars, senior guard Payton Willis led the way with eight first half points.
Momentum carried from the first half to the second half, as Towson, who went 2-11 from three point range in the first half, started out 5-6 from three in the second half. In the midst of the shooting streak, Towson went on a 13-0 run, which gave them an eight point lead around halfway through the second half. Charleston closed the gap, and the game went back and forth until the end of regulation.
Up by three points with under ten seconds left, the Cougars were inbounding the ball. The Tigers made the decision not to foul, which proved to be crucial in deciding the outcome of the game. Had they opted to foul, Charleston would have gone to the free throw line with about five seconds left, with two shots, losing by three and no timeouts left. They could have cut the deficit to one, but it would have been difficult for the Cougars to win the game.
Instead, Towson decided not to foul and junior guard/forward Cameron Copeland hit a three pointer with one second left to force overtime. By the time overtime happened, both teams were visibly fatigued.
By the end of the game, Towson had four players log over 40 minutes, while Charleston had six players log more than 30 minutes. Both teams only scored six points in the first overtime, a sign of the tiredness. In the second overtime, the Cougars outscored Towson 8-6, winning the game.
Towson’s top-heavy attack could not burden the scoring anymore, and it was the balanced attack of the Cougars that eventually helped them to victory. Martin led the team with 34 points, while Thompson finished with 20 points and Timberlake finished with 13 points. Junior guard Zep Jasper led the way for the Cougars with 21 points, while Willis, Copeland, sophomore guard Brenden Tucker and senior center/forward Osinachi Smart all scored in double figures.
The Tigers will play a two-game series against Northeastern on Feb. 13 and Feb. 14 at 1 pm at SECU Arena.