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Terps rally in second half to beat Towson

Melo Trimble scored 27 points and wouldn't be stopped in his effort to get to the foul line, where he scored 16 of his points.

Melo Trimble scored 27 points and wouldn’t be stopped in his effort to get to the foul line, where he scored 16 of his points.

Maryland remained unbeaten through four games and they proved still that they are the top dog in the state, but it was no easy task at all to earn a victory over a Towson Tigers squad that really believes this is the year they should break through and win the CAA and make it to the NCAA Tournament as way more than just a 15th or 16th seed.

The Terps men’s basketball team earned a 71-66 victory over the Tigers on Sunday afternoon as trio of guards combined for 60 points. Melo Trimble was Maryland’s top guy with 27 points, doing most of his damage at the foul line where he made 16 of 17 shots. Freshman Justin Jackson hit five three’s and scored 21 points while classmate Anthony Cowan scored 12.

While Maryland didn’t need too much more than those three to earn the victory, Towson shut the rest of the team down by funneling Maryland through particular spots with their defense. It nearly worked too, but the more balanced Tigers attack just barely didn’t have enough to gain their first-ever victory over the Terps. It also didn’t help that Towson missed eight free throws in a game decided by six points.

“Looked like varsity versus JV at some times out there, they were so big compared to what we are right now,” Terps head coach Mark Turgeon said. “But we figured out how to win, and it’s what we do.”

Towson had the Terps on their heels for much of the game. Towson, in a game in which the Tigers out-scored Maryland 28-16 in the paint, they led 36-34 at halftime. Back-to-back jumpers by Alex Thomas and Mike Morsell opened the second half in a strong way for the Tigers and they worked out to a nine-point lead after Deshaun Morman stole the ball from Jackson and completed the fastbreak layup.

Another steal and fastbreak layup by Morman and then a layup by Brian Starr made it a 13-2 run for the Tigers to open the second half. Towson led 49-36 with 14:27 remaining. They looked like they were about the run away with an upset in the first game between the two in-state foes in 20 years. Maryland hadn’t scored a field goal in the first six minutes of the second half.

But finally, Trimble worked his way into the paint and not only sunk the layup, but drew a foul and hit the free throw. That old-fashioned 3-point play sparked Maryland on a 12-1 run to get withing two points not even three minutes later. Jackson nailed one his 3-pointers to get the Terps within a basket of the lead.

Towson was able to maintain a slight lead over the next three minutes, but a three by Cowan finally tied the game for the Terps. Just over a minute later, Trimble sunk a 3-pointer to give Maryland their first lead in 18 minutes.

A dunk by Morman tied the game with 2:57 remaining. A pair of free throws by William Adala Moto with 86 seconds left tied the game again. But the Tigers couldn’t get the go-ahead shot down the stretch. Maryland made five of six free throw attempts while the Tigers missed three attempts from outside down the stretch to finally secure the victory for Maryland.

“To be perfectly honest we came in here expecting to win the ball game. We played hard, but we didn’t make enough plays,” Towson head coach Pat Skerry said. “We are past the point of moral victories, but Maryland is a top 20, top 25 team and I told our guys that if our goal is to get to the NCAA tournament that is the type of team that we will have to play against and be able to beat. It was a good battle, but we just didn’t make enough plays late.”

Along with out-scoring he Terps in the paint, Towson out-rebounded Maryland 46-33. They had four players score in double figured, led by Mike Morsell, who hit three three’s in a 17-point effort. Morman was second on the team with 15 while Adala Moto had an 11-point, 12-rebound double-double. John Davis scored 10 points off the bench.

Maryland will play one more at home on Tuesday when they host Stony Brook before participating in the Barclays Classic this weekend after Thanksgiving. Tuesday’s game against the Seawolves will tip off at 7 pm.

The Tigers will end their four-game road stretch to open the season at Boston College on Tuesday before hosting Stony Brook on Friday. Tip off for that game is at 5 pm.

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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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