Towson men’s basketball uses strong defensive effort to stroll past Monmouth, 80-61

By Doug Ditto, staff writer

Towson men’s basketball freshman Tyler Tejada scored a career-high 30 points against the Monmouth Hawks. This comes on the heels of a gut-wrenching loss for the Tigers against Hampton on Feb. 17, a game in which Tejada scored just six points. 

“The past few games I’ve been in my head a little bit, not really playing as well as I know I can,” Tejada said. “Tonight was a get me back in my groove type of game.”

His 30 points helped the Tigers (17-11 overall, 10-5 in CAA) defeat Monmouth (15-13 overall, 8-7 in CAA) at TU Arena by a final score of 80-61. While the game was certainly important in the CAA standings, it had a little extra meaning for Towson after their 51-43 loss to Monmouth earlier this season.

“Let’s just say that it was definitely in the locker room that we wanted to get our revenge,” said Tigers’ forward Messiah Jones. 

Jones helped the Tigers achieve just that with 10 points of his own as well as five offensive rebounds in the first half. The Tigers took a 44-32 lead into halftime, having already eclipsed their total amount of points from these teams’ first matchup of the year. 

The Tigers also made a point of playing sound defense on Xander Rice, the leading scorer for the Hawks and a top player in the CAA. Guards Nendah Tarke and Mekhi Lowery stuck with Rice most of the night, holding him to 16 points on just 4-17 from the field.

“I thought Mehki and Nendah did a really good job; he’s a terrific, terrific player. Even the shots he makes are just really hard shots, but I thought we did a good job of making him take tough shots,” said head coach Pat Skerry. 

It was all hands on deck for the Tigers, as evidenced by their 43-24 rebounding advantage. Seven different Towson players collected at least four rebounds in the victory. 

“What really got us the victory was our defense and rebounding,” said Jones. “That’s our identity right now and we kind of drifted away from it for a little bit, but we brought it back today, and hopefully we can do it again Saturday.”

They will host the CAA’s top team on Saturday, Feb. 24, as the College of Charleston Cougars (21-7 overall, 12-3 CAA) travel to TU Arena for Towson’s final home game of the season. They’ll look to do so in different colors than usual, as the team will wear blue uniforms for the 12 p.m. tipoff as a part of Towson’s annual Autism Advocacy Game.


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