Sunday, 23 August 2009

Tigers erase late deficit to edge Rouge et Or

Tigers End Tour With 92-87 Win

QUEBEC CITY, QC, Can. - The Tigers ended their summer foreign tour on a winning note, using a 17-2 run in the final five minutes to erase a nine-point deficit that subdued a pesky Laval University bunch 92-87 with Josh Thornton's 32 points showing the way.

The win was Towson's third straight and its second consecutive victory over the Rouge et Or. The Tigers' tenacity down the stretch pleased their head coach, Pat Kennedy.

"We accomplished a lot of positive things on the trip," said Kennedy. "The comeback tonight was significant. The guys were tired but they didn't buckle."

Playing with emotion in front of an enthusiastic home crowd, the Rouge et Or were determined not to allow the Tigers a repeat performance from the night before when Towson pounded them 83-63. Kennedy had just eight healthy players who were playing their fifth game in six days. Laval subbed often trying to wear down the Tigers but resolve and pride carried Towson in the waning moments.

There were seven lead changes and eight ties before Thornton's eighth three-pointer ignited the decisive 17-2 run that evaporated Laval's 82-73 lead with 5:32 remaining in the contest. Five players scored for Towson in the run that ended with a Brian Morris free throw with 35 ticks left on the clock.

While Laval took advantage of hot outside shooting, nailing 15 treys, the Tigers countered with sharp shooting from the free throw line. After going 3 of 9 from the charity stripe in the first two quarters, the Tigers improved with a 23 of 29 effort in the final 20 minutes.

The Tigers broke on top 13-8 to start the game but couldn't contain Laval's Jean-Francois Beaulieu Maheux who netted 19 of his team high 31 points in the first 20 minutes. Jarrell Smith's buzzer beating put back knotted the score at 40-40 at halftime.

Eight three-pointers in the second half contributed to Laval gaining the advantage again while the Tigers appeared sluggish. But Thornton breathed a little life into the offense with his last bomb.

"If Josh Thornton can play like this during the regular season he'll one of the premier players in the CAA this year," said Kennedy.

Five Tigers scored in double figures including Calvin Lee (15), Morris and Smith (12 each) and David Brewster (10).

"Brian Morris did a very good job of keeping us in the game," Kennedy said. "He's recovering from a broken hand. Also, I think David Brewster has found himself."

Robert Nwankwo was the only other Tiger to score, netting eight points while grabbing seven rebounds and blocking five shots.

The Tigers return to campus tomorrow, having gone 3-2 in games during their tour through Canada.

DRIBBLES: Had this been a regular season game Josh Thornton's eight treys would be a school record and his 32 points a career high ... Josh finished the five-game tour with a 24.4 scoring average ... Calvin Lee averaged 10.6 ppg, David Brewster 10.0 and Jarrell Smith 10.1 ... Brian Morris, dealing with a sore hand, had a tour high 12 points in the victory ... Troy Franklin did not dress for a second straight game due to an ankle sprain ... Robert Nwankwo averaged 9.0 points and a team high 7.4 rebounds along with a ton of blocks.

Canadian Tour Schedule:
Aug. 17 @ Carleton Alumni (Ottawa) L, 59-69
Aug. 18 @ Carleton University (Ottawa) L, 83-95
Aug. 20 @ University of Quebec at Montreal W, 73-69
Aug. 21 @ Laval University (Quebec City) W, 83-63
Aug. 22 @ Laval University (Quebec City) W, 92-87

No comments: