By: Doug Ditto, Staff writer
The Towson Men’s Basketball team defeated the visiting Northeastern Huskies 72-63 behind a big second half from forward Charles Thompson.
The Tigers came out of the gates slowly shooting just 3-14 from the field allowing the Huskies to amass a 14-7 lead with 11:22 remaining in the first half.
“They’re big, physical, and well-coached,” said Head Coach Pat Skerry. “I thought in the second half we got the ball moving a little bit more which got us some better shots.”
Huskies sharpshooting forward Coleman Stucke extended the Huskies lead to 18-9 when he drilled his second 3-pointer of the first half. Towson guard Nicolas Timberlake, the reigning CAA Player of the Week, responded with a triple of his own to bring the deficit back to 18-12 with 7:03 left to play in the first half.
Timberlake and Stucke traded three-point baskets yet again in the ensuing plays to draw the Tigers back within six at the under-4 timeout. Timberlake’s three sparked a 10-0 scoring run to give Towson their first lead of the game at 24-23.
The Tigers hustled to four offensive rebounds in a single possession before forward Cam Holden finally capitalized with a putback layup to give Towson a 26-24 advantage at the half.
Holden led the Tigers in points and rebounds in the first half, tallying seven points and five boards.
The second half began with improved offense from each team, with the Huskies taking a 35-34 lead with 16:00 left to play behind Stucke’s fourth 3-pointer of the night. The Tigers attacked the paint offensively to start the second half led by nine quick points from Thompson.
Holden found Timberlake for his third 3-pointer of the night to extend the Tigers’ lead to 44-37 with 11:55 remaining. Guard Ryan Conway had an impressive sequence as he spun a pretty bounce pass to forward Sekou Sylla for a layup and then drilled a 3-pointer from the corner to give Towson the largest lead of the game at 11 with just under 10 minutes remaining.
The Tigers continued to get Thompson involved offensively which was highlighted by a one-handed slam off an assist by Holden to extend the lead to 15 with 6:43 left to play.
“I tried to use my size to hit Charles when he was open, he’s one of the best big men in the league so when we get him going he’s the anchor of the defense but when we get him going on offense it’s hard to beat us,” said Holden.
Thompson, who entered the second half with just two points, improved to 6-7 from the free throw line to give him 20 points on the night and give the Tigers a 64-53 advantage with just over three minutes remaining.
Holden hustled his way to a double-double finishing with 13 points and 10 rebounds as well as a team-leading 4 assists off the bench.
“If we can get multiple players involved, we’ll be a hard team to beat. We need everyone involved to get over the hump and get Towson where we want to get them, which is the NCAA tournament,” said Holden.
The Huskies drew the deficit within five with just a minute remaining but the Tigers were able to stave off the comeback attempt. Towson extended their winning streak to five games with the hard fought 72-63 victory over Northeastern.
Thompson’s 20 points highlighted the three-headed scoring attack alongside 14 from Timberlake and 13 from Holden.
The Tigers will look to keep their momentum headed into the back half of conference play as they play host to William & Mary on Jan. 28 before heading back on the road for an important conference tilt at Hofstra.