By: Jake Shindel, Sports Editor
Towson Men’s Basketball defeated the University of Pennsylvania at The Palestra behind 23 points from guard Nicolas Timberlake. The outing is Timberlake’s second game in a row topping 20 points.
“This is such a special place for basketball,” Head Coach Pat Skerry said. “Penn is very well coached, very talented. It’s a heck of a win, heck of a road trip to be 3-0 right now.”
Timberlake led the way for Towson on the offensive and defensive end, recording two blocks and two steals to go along with five rebounds. Guard Cam Holden contributed 17 points and three steals, while forward Charles Thompson put in 14 points and eight rebounds to help power Towson past Penn.
Towson and Penn began the game trading three-pointers, with the two teams knotted at nine points each. Holden was fouled on a three-point attempt, and made all three free throws. At the under-16 timeout, Towson led 12-11 behind 3/5 shooting from beyond the arc.
The Tigers maintained their one-point lead into the under-12 timeout, holding a 17-16 lead. Towson extended their lead to four going into the under-8 timeout, but Penn came out of the break with two free throws to cut the lead back to two.
Penn called a timeout in response to a 7-0 run by Towson, who extended its lead to 29-20 with four minutes remaining in the first half. The streak ended at a 10-0 run before Penn’s drought ended to put Towson’s lead back at 10.
Towson led 34-24 at halftime behind 11 points off 4/7 shooting from guard Jason Gibson. Holden ended the first half with nine points, three rebounds, one steal and one block. For Penn, Clark Slajchert led the team in points with 11 at the break.
At the under-16 timeout, Towson held an eight-point lead. The lead was extended to 14 at the under-12 timeout after the Tiger defense held Penn scoreless for over three minutes. The defense turned into offense for Towson, as they turned in a 12-1 run before Skerry called a timeout.
The Quakers came out strong after the timeout, putting together a 9-0 run and cutting the lead to 12 before Skerry called a timeout to think things over for Towson. The run stopped after a breakaway and dunk by Timberlake to put the game back at a 12-point lead for Towson.
“[Timberlake] was great on both games of the trip,” Skerry said. “He’s playing at an elite level, he’s going to continue to be a leader for us. He’s really seeing the game and making good plays. Not just shooting, but passing as well.”
With less than four minutes to go, Towson held a 12-point lead over Penn, with Timberlake leading the Tigers with 21 points, 14 of them coming in the second half alone. Penn cut the lead to single digits with under a minute remaining in the game, but the comeback fell short as Towson won 80-74.
The Tigers next game is at UNC Greensboro on Thursday, Nov. 17 at 7 p.m.