Towson men’s basketball uses strong second-half effort to down Elon, 80-55

By Jake Shindel, men’s basketball reporter

In Towson men’s basketball’s last four games, guard Tyler Tejada averaged 5.4 points per game while shooting just 26.5% from the floor. 

Against Elon, the freshman scored a team-high 17 points, shooting 50% from the field. 

“I think just staying out of my head. I’m just trying to be the best I can, so sometimes, when it doesn’t go my way, I get in my head a little bit,” Tejada said. “Coaches were telling me to stay out of my head, just play, and the game will come, and it did tonight.”

Guard Nendah Tarke also had a big game for the Tigers, scoring 13 points in the second half on 5-for-6 shooting. Tejada and Tarke’s big games were a welcomed sight for Towson (8-4 in the CAA), who struggled early but recovered to defeat Elon (3-9) on Monday night, 80-55.

Tarke shot 66% from the floor, his best mark since Jan. 25. The game was also the first time Tarke came off the bench since Dec. 16, his first game of the season.

Towson head coach Pat Skerry adjusted the starting lineup after Towson lost its last two games. Tarke and guard Christian May moved to the bench, leading the second unit to a 40-13 bench points advantage over Elon. Freshmen guards Mekhi Lowery and Dylan Williamson slotted into the starting lineup and combined for 11 points.

Forward Charles Thompson said the team did not practice the right way during the two-game losing streak but has fixed the issue and prepared for the game against Elon the right way.

“This week was a little intense because we felt like we didn’t prepare the right way that we usually do, but this week we were prepared correctly, and it showed out on the floor today,” Thompson said.

It was a tale of two halves for the Tigers, who shot just 37.5% from the floor in the first half before improving to 62.1% in the second half. 

Towson struggled with Elon’s press and zone defense at the beginning of the game. The Tigers did not hold a lead until the 8:24 mark in the first half. 

“We’re still trying to play inside-out, I thought we had some looks early. We smoked a couple of layups,” head coach Pat Skerry said.

From there, it was all Towson. The team took an 11-10 lead and then held it the rest of the way, stretching to a 35-25 lead at the break. 

Despite playing against a 2-3 zone for most of the game, Towson won the rebounding battle, 42-28, and the points in the paint battle, 38-10. 

The Tigers shared the ball more as the game continued, which helped break Elon’s press and zone. Towson finished with 18 assists, the team’s third-highest mark of the season. 

Towson’s improved shooting aided a 45-point second half. The Tigers benefitted from 15 second-chance points on nine offensive boards. Towson had more offensive rebounds than Elon did on the defensive end in the second half. 

Thompson finished with 10 points and 12 rebounds, his sixth double-double of the season. Forward Tomiwa Sulaiman had nine points and seven rebounds, three on the offensive end. Lowery contributed six points, five rebounds and five assists. 

“[Thompson’s] been playing really well. He was really our only guy that played well the other night against Delaware, who had a very good frontcourt,” Skerry said. “I thought [Sulaiman] did a good job, and I think [Lowery] was good, he’s just all over the place.”

Towson controlled the game for the entire second half, never letting the lead slip away. The win pushed Towson up two spots in the CAA standings. Towson heads south for a road trip this weekend, with games on Thursday and Saturday against William & Mary (3-9) and Hampton (0-12).

Jake Shindel has been a member of The Towerlight since the fall of 2020. He has served as a writer, associate editor, Editor-in-Chief, Sports Editor, and now Deputy Sports Editor. He has also held internships with The Daily Record and Baltimore Fishbowl, as well as PressBox Online, the Baltimore Blast, and Towson Sports Network.


Success! You're on the list.