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Towson proves no match for No. 10 Maryland

Tanisha McTiller scored eight points with six rebounds an three assists against Maryland.

Tanisha McTiller scored eight points with six rebounds an three assists against Maryland.

Head coach Joe Mathews knew going into the game that it would be an incredibly tough and unlikely task that his Towson Tigers would be able top the No. 10 Maryland Terrapins women’s basketball team but what he was looking for from his squad was fight and competitiveness over 40 minutes of a game no matter what the circumstances were and in that respect he was pleased with his team despite having to see an 88-43 loss on the record as they dropped to 4-4 on the season.

“They (Maryland) are one of the better teams in the country regardless of their injury situation,” Mathews said. “We have a young team still trying to learn and we have people out of position but we wanted to see our team fight and compete; maybe not compete score-wise but we wanted to see if the fight was there. We came up short in some of those areas but for the most part there were good things we can build on and move forward from.”

With Maryland’s size advantage, speed advantage and overall athleticism advantage the Tigers really struggled getting back in a zone defense to limit their shots and there was little hope for Towson to get the ball up in transition or inside at all during the game.

Towson was outshot 52.5-percent from the shoot and 40-10 in the paint. They also failed to manage a single point on a fast-break and were forced to slow down their offensive game to a degree that led to more dribbles, more passes and more opportunities for the Terps to get a hand in and force 19 turnovers.

Maryland jumped on Towson right away, getting out to a 13-4 lead in only four minutes and after the two teams exchanged jumpers Ciara Webb hit a three for the Tigers and Tanisha McTiller followed her up with a mid-range jumper to cut Maryland’s lead to only four points but from then on it in the first half Maryland really limited the Tigers shots.

Towson did not hit another field goal for eight minutes and only hit two more after that in the final three minutes o the half, one was a three-pointer by Webb to cut Maryland’s lead to 22 going into the break, 43-21.

“I felt like in the first half we missed a lot of shots in the paint that we could have gotten down,” Mathews said. “Against a team like Maryland you have to get them down if you’re going to have a chance. Then the droughts came and it made it tougher for us.”

The story was very similar in the second half. Maryland scored the first four points out of the intermission before the Tigers matched those four points in back-to-back successful shots but their next made basket came six minutes later when Markell Smith ended the drought with a layup. By that point Maryland already went on a 21-point run and took a 68-25 lead with 10 minutes remaining in the game.

The Tigers did pick up the scoring in the final ten minutes, nearly doubling their total before the buzzer sounded but the closest they got to Maryland for the rest of the night was 39-points.

Going forward Mathews said his biggest concern as a coach is figuring out how to get Nyree Williams and Michelle Peebles to play together in the front court. Due to injuries early in the year this is the first time both forwards have played together but “they are not playing well together right now so we have to reevaluate that and see it that’s the right combination on the floor,” he said. “I like the size they give us going into conference play but we have to find a way that they are compatible together and understand what they got to get down.”

Peebles finished the game with six points and only two rebounds while Williams scored five points and grabbed four rebounds. Towson’s points mostly came from their trio of guards, Webb, McTiller and Destiny Shearin. Webb led the Tigers with 12 points off four three-pointers while Shearin and McTiller each had eight points. McTiller also had six boards and three assists.

“It was nice to see Ciara Webb hit some shots,” Mathews said about his guard who has been playing with a mask on at times after injuring her nose against Morgan State early in the season. “She should be done with the mask but she has struggled shooting the ball and this is a kid who needs to shoot 35-percent from three-point range.

“She hasn’t always had the best shot selection, not even tonight, but she is confident and we need her to pump some shots from outside and open things up inside.”

Two years ago Maryland went into the Towson Center and was upset by the Tigers but Terps head coach Brenda Frese said she barely even mentioned the stunning upset to her team before the game to get them ready because it was a “different Team. Different group.” And she was confident this year that there would be no upset. “I like the way this team locks in and really focuses.”

Alyssa Thomas led Maryland with 23 points and 13 rebounds while Katie Rutan scored 16. Tiana Hawkins and Alicia DeVaughn scored 14 and 12 points, respectively.

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Corey Johns

Editor in Chief
You could say Corey was born to become a sports journalist. His father won a national championship coaching college soccer. His mother is a baseball fanatic who hasn't missed seeing an Orioles game since 1983 (literally, sometimes it's annoying). His great uncle was a big-time boxing promoter and his maternal grandfather was once a department head at the Baltimore Sun. Basically, sports and journalism run through his blood. He played just about every little league sports there was when he was a kid and was a multi-sport athlete in high school; even playing in the first-ever high school sanction Rugby game in the country. Eventually he retired from sports as an undefeated Maryland state Rugby champion as a high school senior. Perhaps lack of athletic talent has more to do with the retirement, but he will tell you that it more had to do with a great desire to jump right into media. Upon his graduation from University of Maryland, Baltimore County as a triple communications major, Corey started the So Much Sports network and has continued to grow his websites and continues to work to make them premier sports media outlets.

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