By: Jake Shindel, Sports Editor
The Towson Women’s Basketball team used a second-half surge to down Delaware and pick up a road win 69-66. Guard Kylie Kornegay-Lucas’ 12 second-half points helped spark a run after the Tigers found themselves down by eight at halftime, and helped the Tigers pick up their fourth-straight win.
“The nerves were there, the energy was there, you felt it from the time we stepped into this arena,” said first-year Head Coach Laura Harper, who got her first taste of the Towson-Delaware rivalry. “I’m just so proud of our depth, our team, how resilient we were. It was a tale of two halves.”
Guard Skye Williams contributed 16 points, her second-highest outing of the season, while adding two steals for Towson. As a team, Towson recorded a season-high 17 steals and forced 26 Delaware turnovers.
“We’ve been making an emphasis on defense,” Harper said. “We’ve shown that we can score; to win these tough games, it’s the defense.”
Early buckets from Towson gave them a 6-2 lead and forced an early Delaware timeout. Out of the timeout, Delaware pieced together a 7-0 run in just under two minutes. A jumper from Williams ended Towson’s scoring drought.
Harper called a timeout for Towson with 2:41 in the first quarter as she found her team down 17-10.
At the end of the first quarter, Delaware held a 21-12 lead. Forward Mikayla Pippin led all scorers with eight points for Delaware, while Williams led Towson with six points. Towson shot 38% from the field in the first quarter, and had no free throws or three-pointers.
A 5-0 run from Towson guard Peanut Rivera cut Delaware’s lead to three and prompted a timeout from Delaware, who then put together a 7-0 run in under a minute to take a 35-26 lead after Towson had cut their deficit to two.
At the break, Delaware held a 37-29 lead. Williams and guard Patricia Anumgba led Towson scorers with seven points each, with Anumgba recording four steals through the first 20 minutes. Kornegay-Lucas, who averages 15.7 points per game, only had two points across five minutes in the first half after recording two early fouls.
“You don’t make a game plan to play without the person that leads your team in points, rebounds, steals, assists and blocks,” Harper said. “Just believing in the rest of the team, realizing that we’re still a team when she’s on and off the floor. I think being able to comeback in that fashion really solidified that and showed that.”
For Delaware, forward Michelle Ojo recorded an efficient 10 points in 13 minutes on 4/5 shooting. Delaware outrebounded Towson 20-16 in the first half, and converted 48% of their shots compared to a 40% field goal percentage for Towson.
Three minutes into the second half, Towson cut Delaware’s lead to one, and then took the lead after a steal from Williams. A steal from Kornegay-Lucas led to an easy layup for forward Quinzia Fulmore, and then a mishandled pass from Delaware gave Towson the ball back. Delaware took a timeout down 44-41 after surrendering a 15-4 run across the first five minutes of the second half.
“The way they came out in the third quarter, I really challenged them and they stepped up,” Harper said. “This is what you want a conference rivalry game to look and feel like.”
Towson’s strong third quarter put them ahead 52-47 going into the final quarter of play. The Tigers outscored the Blue Hens 23-10 in the third quarter, with Kornegay-Lucas providing a spark. Kornegay-Lucas played nine minutes in the third quarter and scored six points with three rebounds, two assists and two steals.
Delaware retook the lead 58-57 with six minutes left in the game after going 3/5 from deep for their first nine points of the quarter.
Harper picked up a technical foul after arguing a foul called on Towson, and the ensuing free throws gave Delaware a 61-60 lead. At the fourth-quarter media timeout, Towson regained a one-point lead. Kornegay-Lucas continued her strong second half with four points in the first five minutes of the quarter.
Williams gave Towson a three-point lead with 1:30 remaining after a made jumper. With 19 seconds left in the game, Towson picked up a loose ball on the court and Harper called a timeout before a jump ball was called. The timeout gave Towson the ball up 68-63.
A late three from Delaware put the game within two points, but it was not enough to win, as Towson won 69-66.
Towson returns home for their next game on Sunday, Jan. 22 to take on Drexel at 2 p.m.