By: Courtney Ott, Deputy Sports Editor and Morgan Cuthbertson, Senior Staff Writer
Towson Women’s Basketball defeated Howard University 68-58 in Burr Gymnasium on Saturday afternoon to snap a two-game losing streak.
“We needed this like we need air to breathe, more so for their confidence and that we can turn it on,” said Head Coach Laura Harper. “We found a way to be dominant, we came together as a team and this feels great.”
Howard won the jump ball and scored the first point of the game with a three-pointer from Guard Iyanna Warren. Towson’s first points of the game came from two free throws by Guard Alexia Nelson, who cut down Howard’s lead 3-2.
With about five minutes left in the first quarter, Howard gained control of the ball but turned it over with an overthrown pass. Towson got the ball back and Nelson was able to sink two more free throws.
With fast passing around the paint, Guard Skye Williams found the ball outside the three-point arch, hitting her second three of the game, putting Towson at an 11-9 lead.
The Bison took their lead back when Guard Aziah Hudson made two from inside the paint.
With the shot clock winding down, Guard Patricia Anumbga drove inside, making a quick pass to Guard India Johnston outside the arch, gaining back Towson’s lead 16-13 with two minutes to go in the quarter.
Towson held an 18-17 lead at the end of the first quarter, shooting 35% from the field and 75% from the charity stripe. Williams led all scorers with six, with Johnson coming in right behind her with five.
Starting the second quarter, Towson won a jump ball and Johnston scored another three, and on Towson’s next possession recorded another three from the same spot in the outside corner, holding a Towson lead 24-17. The Tigers scored eight straight points before Howard scored their first points of the quarter around the 5:30 mark.
“India is a shooter…you’re going to have highs and lows your freshman year and I just want to continue to keep empowering her abilities and she can really be a big part of our team,” said Harper.
Howard held the ball as Warren pulled up from mid-range, who converted and drew the foul on Anumbga. Towson still had the lead 26-22.
Johnston led the Tigers at the half with 11 followed by Williams with 10. Guard Kylie Kornegay-Lucas led Towson with eight rebounds and four assists. Warren led the Bison with nine.
To start the third quarter, Forward Quinzia Fulmore tried to go for two points with a driving layup but missed, and Howard capitalized on their possession putting up two inside the paint.
The Bison were able to take back their lead at 33-32 when Nelson fouled Guard Destiny Howell and gave her three free throws. Howell converted all of them.
“We knew they were really quick and really athletic and we wanted to contain some of their drive, their penetration,” said Harper. “We went a lot more zone than we typically have but we were able to contain them to some degree.”
Kornegay-Lucas put Towson back in the lead with a jumper inside the paint at 37-35. The Tigers increased their lead to four points when Forward Anissa Rivera made a jump shot despite her tight coverage from Howard’s defense. The teams were tied at 49 after the third quarter
Starting off the fourth quarter, Kornegay-Lucas went for a driving layup but missed and Fulmore recovered with an offensive rebound and gained the two points for Towson. Fulmore scored the first six points of the quarter for Towson.
The Tigers held a 55-54 lead when Howard recorded another personal foul, giving Center Taiye Johnson one for two on foul shots. Williams responded on the next possession with a driving layup holding the ball all the way down the court, increasing the lead 58-54.
Fort-Davis brought the Bison within two, but Nelson hit a three from the top of the key to increase the Tigers lead to five with just under three minutes left to play.
With two minutes left in the game, Williams stole the ball in the back court who went for a driving layup and missed but Fulmore followed through with the rebound and gained the two. Fulmore followed that with another two in the next possession to help Towson pull away at 67-56. Towson came out on top 68-58 by Nelson holding the ball for the final twenty seconds of the game.
The Tigers ended with a 39% field goal percentage and the Bison held a 33% field goal percentage. Towson led in rebounds over Howard, totaling 43. The turnover differential was close with Howard claiming 20 and Towson having 16.
Fulmore finished with 14 points, 12 of them coming in the second half. Williams ended up with 14 on 6-13 shooting and Johnston with 13 on 4-9 shooting, 3-7 from behind the arch. Kornegay-Lucas finished with a full stat sheet tallying 11 points, nine rebounds, and seven assists.
Towson’s next game is at home to face University of Memphis on Dec. 13 at 11 a.m.