Towson v JMU basketball game recap

By: Jordan Kendall, Senior Staff Writer

The Towson University men’s basketball team (22-7, 13-3 CAA) sent their seniors out with an 84-65 victory over James Madison University (15-13, 6-11 CAA) on senior night. 

The win broke the NCAA division one record for the biggest turnaround by winning 18 more games than the previous season. TU won four games last year, the previous record was also held by Towson at 17.5 games in 2012-13. 

The Tigers were led by graduate guard Terry Nolan Jr. and junior forward Charles Thompson. Thompson led all players with 22 points and 17 rebounds while Nolan scored 21 points and went 5-7 from three-point range.

“Great win for our guys, Madison’s good… we knew they’d come back and I thought our guys did just enough late,” Head coach Pat Skerry said. “Awesome environment in here, tonight appreciate everyone for coming out. It was rocking in here.”

Towson entered the game leading the CAA in several defense statistics and proved it throughout the game. They combined for 44 rebounds including 15 offensive rebounds. 

In the first ten minutes of the game, Nolan hit three shots from beyond the arc and finished the half with 16 points and shot 6-8 from the field and 4-5 from three. The Tigers led by ten at the 11:32 mark before the Dukes responded with an 11-3 run that cut the deficit to four. 

“Coach just reminded us about our mantra, we’ve been saying be where our feet are all year so we just gotta lock back in,” Thompson said. “As we were up we knew we were capable of doing it, just lost focus for a second but once we snapped back in it took off.”

Towson responded with an 11-0 run to extend their lead to 15 at halftime. The Tigers shot 41.1% from three in the first half while holding James Madison to 28.5% from deep. Thompson recorded a double-double in the first half with 10 points and 12 rebounds. Nolan shot 4-5 from three and led all scorers with 16 points.

Thompson finished the game with 36 minutes played. Skerry said it’s a testament to his work ethic. 

“It’s ridiculous, we talked about it a week ago how does that guy play so many minutes,” Skerry said. “It’s harder for big guys, they hedge, they gotta rim run, they run more than guards.  Guards have it easy but he just does it all the time, I don’t know how he does it. His family has instilled this work ethic in him and that’s just what he does all the time.”

In the second half, the Dukes began to rally and went on an 18-5 run that cut their deficit to three points. Towson missed six shots including five from beyond the arc during that run. The Tigers responded with a 12-0 run that sealed the game. Thompson scored six of the points including back-to-back scores inside the paint.

Nolan was held to five points in the second half, but Thompson stepped up with 12 points and five rebounds. Despite shooting 2-11 in the game, senior guard Cam Holden finished with a double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds. He went 8-10 from the free-throw line. Redshirt junior guard Nicolas Timberlake also scored in double figures with 14 points shooting 6-12 from the field. 

“Everybody on my team knew I was capable of this, it was really just a confidence thing,” Thompson said. “… Once I got my first 18 points, 20 points I was like ok I can replicate this, I can do this every night.”

Nolan, a Baltimore native, spent his first two seasons at Bradley University. While reflecting on his time at Towson he said he regrets not becoming a Tiger earlier. 

“I was supposed to come here my freshman year I did not,” Nolan said. “…To sum it up I wish I would’ve came here for my freshman year and finished out all the way through.”

Towson will conclude their regular season at SECU Arena with the resumption of the January 27 game vs the University of Delaware on Monday, February 28 at 6 p.m. The game will resume with the Blue Hens leading 38-29 with 18:42 remaining in the second half. 

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