By: Desmond Boyle, Staff Writer
Towson wrapped up its home schedule — and honored seniors Brianna Bush and Raven Bankston — Sunday with a 67-65 loss to Colonial Athletic Association rival Elon on senior day.
Each team hit a 3-pointer to open the game, but Towson struggled to defend Elon on the inside and gave up several rebounds and points in the paint.
Bush and junior forward Mary Cuevas were overwhelmed by Elon’s physicality and speed down low. As a result, Elon built up a 13-6 lead in the opening five minutes.
Following a timeout, the Tigers came out firing. Bankston hit a three before junior guard Sianni Martin hit a contested jumper from inside the arc.
Junior center Daijha Thomas helped Towson’s inside presence on defense and converted on an opportunity to pull the team within one.
Elon ended the quarter on a 6-2 run in large part of the play of senior forward Jenifer Rhodes who had two blocks and a bucket during that run.
Towson began to use traps on defense to disrupt Elon’s rhythm. Following an Elon turnover, Bankston converted a tough layup to pull the team to within four.
Martin then hit a 3-pointer in the corner to pull Towson within one with just under two minutes to play.
Elon’s struggles at the charity stripe were a big reason that Towson came back and tied the game 37-37 before half.
The Phoenix came out of the half and went on a 7-point run thanks to a three from Shay Burnett. However, Bankston brought the Tigers back with a tough and one conversion.
That layup sparked a 17-3 run for Towson, which was capped by two straight buckets from forward Maia Lee.
“I think it’s always great when you can start to play your best basketball in March,” Head Coach Niki Reid Geckeler said. “I think everyone is looking for that chemistry, that confidence boost as we wrap up the regular season and go to the CAA tournament.”
Elon managed to regroup following a timeout and closed the quarter on an eight-point run which gave them a 55-54 lead going into the final quarter.
A jumper from Bankston gave Towson a 62-60 lead with just under six minutes left in the game.
Following several turnovers from both teams, Essence Baucom went to the line for Elon and connected on one of two foul shots to tie the game at 65 with 36 seconds left to play.
Towson then turned the ball over with eight seconds left and Burnett drove to the lane and sunk the game winning layup with only three seconds left.
Towson will travel to Delaware for its final regular season game on March 1 before going into the CAA Tournament March 8-11.