By: Jordan Kendall, Senior Staff Writer
Photo by: Alex Wright / Towson University
For the first time in program history, the Towson University men’s basketball team clinched a share of the CAA regular-season championship. It’s also their first regular season conference title since 1994 as members of the Big South. The Tigers overcame a nine-point deficit in a resumed game against the University of Delaware to win 69-57.
“You never want to look too far ahead in the future, you always want to take it one game at a time but we’ve been working for a long time for this,” junior forward Charles Thompson said in the postgame press conference. “The job’s not finished but it’s a good start to what could be a good ending.”
In the resumed game against the Blue Hens, four of Towson’s starters finished in double figures. Thompson led the team with 15 points and nine rebounds, while junior guard Jason Gibson dropped 14 points. Redshirt junior guard Nicolas Timberlake and senior guard Cam Holden each finished with 13 points. Holden also had 12 rebounds and five steals.
Bad court conditions on Jan. 27 caused the officials and teams to stop play with 18:42 left in the second half, and the teams were able to resume the game on Feb. 28.
Towson finished the regular season 24-7 overall and 15-3 in the CAA. UNCW also finished 15-3 in the conference, however, since the Tigers swept Hofstra University and split with the Seahawks, Towson will get the number one seed in the CAA tournament.
“We realized we wanted that in the summertime, that was the goal,” Holden said in the postgame press conference. “There’s many accolades you gotta hit before you can actually get to the tournament and this is one of them so we’re just happy we get to cross it off our checklist.”
With the regular-season conference title, Towson has guaranteed an appearance in the postseason. The regular-season conference champions in every conference are automatically qualified for the NIT (National Invitational Tournament). If the Tigers do not qualify for the NCAA tournament, they will be guaranteed a spot in the NIT.
As the number one seed, the Tigers will play the winner of the Northeastern University vs William & Mary game. Towson will need to win three games to make their first NCAA tournament appearance in 31 years.
“It shows what you can do with some hard work,” Thompson said. “A lot of guys want to leave, a lot of guys want to do this, and we just all got together, had a talk, and were like this core group is good. We just have some obstacles to overcome, [but] once we overcame those obstacles this was the result,” Thompson said.
The CAA Tournament goes from Mar. 5-8 at the Entertainment and Sports Arena in Washington, D.C. Click here to see the full schedule.