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Tigers earn bragging rights with win over Hounds

By: Desmond Boyle

William Adala Moto scored eight of his 11 points in the second half as Towson held onto the lead gained from their big first half performance.

Bragging rights were on the line when Towson and Loyola did battle at SECU Arena on Wednesday night. Towson took a big lead early and did not enough in the second half to deny the Greyhounds a miraculous comeback to earn a 70-53 victory.

Both teams came out playing solid defense and the Greyhounds utilized a full court press early on to try and disrupt the Tiger’s offensive rhythm. Towson managed to have success scoring buckets in the first five minutes by making quick passes out of the press.

The high press also got Loyola into foul trouble early as the Greyhounds picked seven team fouls in the opening eight minutes.

Towson was able to knock down jump shots more consistently in the opening 10 minutes and established a 20 to nine lead after a three pointer from junior guard Mike Morsell. Morsell put 11 on the board for the Tigers to lead the game in scoring throughout that early stretch.

After freshman guard Zane Martin found senior forward John Davis with a great pass inside, the Tigers extended their lead to 13 with five minutes to play in the first half. A deep three from junior guard Eddie Keith II made it 33-15 just two minutes later.

A triple from John Davis ended a great half for the Tigers, who took a commanding 41-17 lead into the break.

The Greyhounds struggled mightily in the first half as they shot 27.3 percent from the field and had 11 turnovers to Towson’s five.

“Honestly it’s been consistent with what we’ve done,” Towson head coach Pat Skerry said. “We’re top 20, top 25 in the country in field goal defense and rebound margin. We guard and we take a lot of pride in that and we scout and it’s who we are.”

The Tigers went 55.6 percent from the field as Morsell had 12 points and Davis added nine.

A big slam from Arnaud William Adala Moto got the Tigers off to a flying start in the second half. The dunk from the senior forward gave Towson a 49-20 lead.

Loyola seemed to lack focus defensively and continued to struggle to create open shots on offense. When they did manage to create shots or get to the rim the Greyhounds often couldn’t finish.

The Tigers held a 30 point lead throughout the early parts of the second half while Loyola had only knocked down nine field goal attempts through 28 minutes of game time.

Towson then began to struggle a little bit offensively as the Greyhounds managed to score 10 unanswered points. The Tiger’s lead began to vanish thanks to several turnovers and sloppy offense overall.

“We didn’t finish the way we wanted to finish,” Skerry said. “It’s hard to get up 30, and then get up 50 so there’s some things we can learn from that.”

Loyola made an impressive 23-4 scoring run and a clutch three from freshman guard Ian Langendoerfer made it 59-46 with just over five minutes to play.

The Tigers did just enough to close the game out, making crucial foul shots and playing better defense throughout the home stretch. A slam dunk off a transition fast break from Deshaun Morman sealed the 70-53 win for the Tigers.

Up next for Towson is a home matchup against Farleigh Dickinson this Saturday at 2 p.m. Loyola will travel to Binghamton on Saturday before returning to Reitz Arena next Friday, Dec. 23 to host UMass Lowell at 1 pm.

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Desmond Boyle

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