By Courtney Ott, Sports Editor and Doug Ditto, Senior Staff Writer
Towson women’s basketball secured their first win of the season in their home opener against UMBC, 76-72. Acting head coach Christie Rogers led the Tigers to victory against her previous team, where she was the assistant women’s basketball coach in the 2019-20 season.
Guard Patricia Anumgba and guard Alexia Nelson held up a strong offensive performance against their previous team as well. Both played at UMBC before transferring to Towson, Nelson recorded 15 points, while Anumgba put up 14.
The starting lineup for the first game of the season looked different compared to last year, as they were without CAA Preseason Player of the Year guard Kylie Kornegay-Lucas as well as returning starter Quinzia Fulmore in the first half.
“We definitely had some first-game jitters, but we were able to fight through that. We had to go with an unconventional starting lineup tonight, so I’m really proud of our toughness and effort,” said Rogers.
Instead, forward Gabby Scott saw her fourth career start and grabbed eight rebounds. Guard India Johnston became a strong asset on the court, totaling 10 points and three rebounds.
“You can’t say enough about Gabby Scott tonight. We’ve really challenged her in the last month to own rebounding,” said Rogers. “That’s an area we think we need to do better, and she has come through big-time.”
The first quarter was back-and-forth between both teams, but UMBC was leading 16-15 going into the second. The Retrievers dominated on offense and shot 60% from the field, while the Tigers went 6-18.
Towson was able to seize a 37-31 lead at the half, thanks to a nice second quarter from Anumgba and Johnston. Anumgba led the way with 10 points at the half for the Tigers, while Johnston notched eight points of her own. Scott led the team in rebounds at four.
“It was a gritty game, and it’s going to be like that all year around. They know we’re athletic, and they know we’re fast, so they’re going to try and bump us and throw us around,” said Nelson. “We have to push back, that’s the whole point of being tough and trying to get the job done.”
Towson was able to hold onto their lead, 54-49, going into the fourth quarter. Nelson led the team in points in the third quarter with six. Fulmore came off the bench in the third quarter and made her presence felt as she tallied five rebounds and four points.
The Tigers lead briefly slipped away in the fourth quarter, but Kornegay-Lucas buried a clutch three-pointer to give Towson a 72-70 lead with just over a minute left to play. Nelson and Fulmore were able to put the game away for good as they each added a layup to secure a 76-72 win for the Tigers.
Towson’s next matchup is on the road against Columbia on Nov. 16 at 7 p.m.