Friday, 21 August 2009

Towson edges Citadins in Montreal

Towson edges Citadins in Montreal plus Game Box Score

MONTREAL, QC, Can. - The Tigers started to get the hang of how college basketball is played in Canada and used their new found knowledge to notch the first victory of their summer foreign tour when they held on for a 73-69 win over the University of Quebec at Montreal Thursday night in the Centre sportif.

After getting shoved around in Ottawa where they dropped games to the Carleton Alumni All-Stars and then the Ravens' number-one ranked varsity, the Tigers, Robert Nwankwo in particular, took it to des Citadins. A late UQAM rally made the contest seem closer than it was in reality.

Nwankwo scored 15 of his team high 20 points in the late going. Adil El Makssoud, the game's high scorer with 26 points, sank two free throws that gave des Citadins their only lead of the second half (57-56). Nwankwo then scored Towson's next 12 points, all on slam dunks, as Towson mounted a 14-4 run for a 70-61 advantage with 51 seconds left.

Des Citadins turned up the heat on defense in the final minute and converted a few of steals and a foul into an 8-1 run. But Josh Brown's baseline jumper with 4.3 seconds left sealed it.

"We played better team defense tonight and I liked the way our man-to-man looked at times when we had to make the stops," said Tiger head coach Pat Kennedy. "And we kept running and pushing the ball hard. We had a much better feel tonight than we had in the first two games."

The Tigers stumbled a little out of the gate again, allowing des Citadins to assume an early 7-3 lead. Troy Franklin tied the game at 9-9 on two free throws. David Brewster hit a jumper and Jarrell Smith added two buckets from his favorite spot on top of the key as Towson took a 15-9 lead.

El Makssoud's gave des Citadins their only other lead of the contest, 29-28, on a driving layup with the first half winding down. Brian Morris' trey on Towson's next trip down the floor regained the lead for the Tigers who took a 35-33 advantage into the lockeroom.

Nwankwo was 8 of 11 from the floor and grabbed 11 rebounds to earn a double-double. He also chipped in with two blocks. Josh Thonrton added 13 points. Brewster and Smith each finished with 10 points.

The Tigers travel to Quebec City tomorrow where they'll face Laval University at 7:30 p.m.

DRIBBLES: des Citadins are coached by Olga Hrycak, the first woman to coach a Division I university men's team in North America ... she's in her sixth year at UQAM ... previously she guided the nearby Dawson College men's team to nine provincial championships ... she was recovering from an illness and was not on the bench with her team against the Tigers ... the Tigers played under UQAM's league rules tonight ... there were four 10-minute quarters ... each team had five team timeouts (two for the first two quarters that couldn't carry over, and three to be used in the third and fourth periods) ... timeouts could only be taken on dead ball situations ... there was no one-plus-one at the free throw line, only two-shot fouls ... UQAM is a French speaking university ... the entire game was called in French ... early on the PA announcer struggled with Robert Nwankwo's name but by the middle of the fourth quarter, she was fluent with it ... Troy Franklin suffered an ankle injury early in the second half (third quarter) ... he's doubtful for the final two games, leaving the Tigers with just one point guard - Brian Morris, and eight healthy players ... Josh Brown, a walk-on guard who sat out last year after transferring from Mt. Olive, continues to be impressive, especially with his quickness ... the Tigers were called for a tour-low 18 personal fouls ... David Brewster was the only Towson player disqualified on fouls ... Calvin Lee was 2 of 9 from the floor on a night when his shots just weren't falling ... he contributed 9 boards and a block ... in the three games, the Tigers have combined for 15 blocks to just two by the opponents ... both of those were made by the Carleton Alumni's Neal Dawson, a 7-foot All Star.

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) 7:30
Aug. 22 @ Laval University (Quebec City) 8:00

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