By: Cory Kefauver, Contributing Writer
The Towson University’s (TU) Men’s Basketball team took down the University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW) 78-74 on Jan. 19 at SECU Arena.
This was the Tigers (3-5) third game in four days, concluding a back-to-back stretch against UNCW (6-5) in which the Tigers won both matchups.
TU had a 50.9% shooting rate for the entire game. The Tigers held the Seahawks to 35.9% shooting while maintaining a 60.7% shooting rate during the second half.
Redshirt senior guard Zane Martin led the team with 24 points from 9-15 shooting. Martin also added six rebounds and eight assists. Sophomore forward Charles Thompson added 17 points and six rebounds. Thompson finished 7-8 from the free throw line.
“We guarded, we rebounded, we shot 51%, and we hung on for dear life,” head coach Pat Skerry said during the post game press conference.
The Seahawks came out with an early 14-7 lead with 12:48 to go in the first half capitalizing off eight turnovers by the Tigers.
The Tigers came out shooting cold, going 4-12 shooting in the first nine minutes of the game.
The Tigers chipped away at the Seahawks’ lead late in the first half with a last second layup from Martin closing the gap to four points making the score 36-32. Martin led the team in scoring at halftime with 14 points off 5-7 shooting, 2-3 from three.
The Tigers came out hot defensively in the second half with 13 rebounds and 2 blocks, tying the game early in the second half with 18:32 to play.
“We just picked up our intensity,” Martin said on the difference between the first and second half. “You’ve got to create your own energy nowadays with no fans.”
TU took the lead after a layup by sophomore forward Solomon Uyaelunmo which kicked off an early 8-0 run for the Tigers.
The Tigers gained a 10-point lead and momentum after a slam dunk from redshirt sophomore guard Demetrius Mims.
“Demetrius’ dunk propelled us over the top right then,” said Thompson after the game. “It brought everyone together and really boosted our momentum.”
With 6:07 left in the game sophomore guard Jason Gibson hit a three-pointer pushing the Tigers lead to 13 with a score of 60-47.
UNCW did not go down easily however, cutting the Tigers lead to nine after a technical foul by TU.
The Seahawks went on an 11-0 run late in the second half, many of those points coming off free throws.
UNCW cut the lead to two with eight seconds left in the game. The Tigers closed the game out with a defensive stand and made on both their final free throws.
The Seahawks were led by senior guard Mike Okauru with 25 points on 7-14 shooting, he added four assists.
“We did a good job of fighting back but we fell short,” Seahawks head coach Takayo Siddle said. “Our energy just wasn’t what it needed to be.”