By: Courtney Ott and Maritza Falchetti
The Towson Men’s Basketball team (9-3 in conference play) earned a convincing win against Hampton University (3-9 in conference play) 86-72.
Guard Nicolas Timberlake was one point away from his career high of 32 points and recorded his second-straight 30-point game, while forward Charles Thompson and guard Cam Holden each recorded a double-double.
Holden was inserted into Towson’s starting lineup against Hampton, his first start since Dec. 31.
“Cam’s done a great job for us because we’ve had guys out of the lineup like Jason…I think we can bring him at that four spot and he can have those types of double-doubles,” Head Coach Pat Skerry said.
A 3-pointer from guard Nygal Russell put Towson in the lead to start the game. At the 16- minute mark, Russell was able to steal the ball and pass it down the court to guard Rahdir Hicks, who set up Timberlake for a wide-open dunk to put the Tigers up 7-6.
After the under-12 minute media timeout, guard Christian May put in his first two points for the night from directly under the basket. Just under the 10-minute mark, Thompson made a layup followed by a three from Timberlake shortly after, and the Tigers led 21-17.
Another assist from Hicks with six minutes left led to three points for the Tigers from Holden. 4:50 remained in the first half and guard Marquis Godwin logged his second personal foul, both on Holden, which gave Towson two more and put them up 34-24.
Hicks, who played a season-high 26 minutes in the win, finished the game with six points, four rebounds and three assists.
“I played Rahdir a lot more in the second half and I think what happens with that is he really takes care of the ball, plays great defense and for our team it takes a little stress off of Cam…that’s why Rahdiir is a valuable asset for us,” Skerry said.
The first half ended with Towson holding a 42-34 lead. Timberlake led the team in points with 17 and Holden followed closely behind with 14. The team held a 50% field goal percentage, including 54% from behind the arch and 88% from the free throw line. Towson was held to four bench points while Hampton recorded nine.
The start of the second half involved a personal foul on forward Kyrese Mullen which was drawn from guard Ryan Conway, and it then increased the Tiger’s lead to 44-36. With 14:06 left in the half, a technical foul was called on guard Jordan Nesbitt, which gave Timberlake two more points putting Towson at 51-41.
Coming off of a 30-second timeout called by Hampton, Holden recorded a technical foul which gave Godwin two points for the Pirates, but the Tigers were still up 57-43. Shortly after, an assist from Timberlake led to a 3-pointer for May which gave the Tigers a 15-point lead.
At just under the 10-minute mark, a missed jumper gave Thompson a rebound and he had a second-chance dunk which put them at 63-49. At the 9:15 mark, Timberlake made another 3-pointer that was shortly followed by another dunk for Thompson.
A little over four minutes remained in the game when Hicks put up two more points with a driving layup. A minute later, Holden stole the ball giving the Tigers a fast break and Timberlake executed the dunk, which increased the lead to 80-65.
Towson finished the game with a 44-point second half to down Hampton 86-72.
The Tigers finished the game shooting 46% from the field, 45% from beyond the arch and 75% from the free-throw line. Timberlake was Towson’s leading scorer with 31 points, and Holden trailed not too far behind, ending with a double-double at 22 points and 12 rebounds.
“It’s a fun time of the year and they’re all meaningful games now,” said Skerry. “We’re a game out of first so how can we get better? We have a tough game Saturday and that’s what we’re focused on.”
Towson’s next game will be Saturday, Feb. 11 at 2 p.m. on the road against Drexel University.