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Morsell nets 32 in Tigers 5th-straight win

By: Ryan Callinan

Mike Morsell became the 26th Towson Tigers player to reach the 1,000 career points milestone with his 32-point effort against Elon.

John Davis’ college basketball career may be over but he is certainly still fueling the Towson Tigers men’s basketball team to success. Davis was grazed by a bullet in his left leg in an apparent drive-by shooting following the team’s win over Drexel last weekend in his hometown of Philadelphia. He was back on the sidelines to support his team against Elon on Thursday night, and his teammates used that emotion as fueled to earn an 84-65 victory over the visiting Phoenix.

“John means a lot and I know they want to win for him,” Towson head coach Pat Skerry said. “They best way to win for John is to be the best version of yourself and we’ll be fine. This is a really close group. We are playing for him because he’s meant so much to us.”

Mike Morsell scored 32 points to give the Tigers their fifth-straight win and an 84-65 win at home on Thursday night against a tough Elon team.

Morsell’s output equaled his season-high and made him the 26th Towson player in history to record over 1,000 points. Towson’s win was their fifth-straight and 10th in their last 11 games, improving their overall record to 18-10 and conference record to 10-5. Towson sits firmly in third place in the Colonial Athletic Association.

The final score was not indicative of the hard-fought battled that took place for most of the game. The first half went back-and-forth early on before Towson earned some separation as Morsell started to make his presence known. His 11 first half points to go along with his three offensive rebounds helped spark a mini-run and had the Tigers ahead 19-13 midway through the first half.

Towson also benefited early on from long range, sinking three of their first four 3-pointers. However, they cooled off and went 1-for-9 from beyond the arc the remainder of the half. That allowed Elon to stay within reach as the team’s approached halftime.

Elon’s Tyler Seibring played his part in keeping his team within striking distance, scoring 15 of his team-high 22 points in the first half. A couple of timely three’s from the big forward prevented Towson from pulling away.

Even though Towson outscored the visitors 13-0 in second chance points and 13-3 in points off turnovers in the first half, Elon’s 52-percent from the field and 4-for-6 on 3-pointers left the game in the balance after 20 minutes with Towson leading by only four at 37-33.

The second half was a different story. While Towson’s defense was solid all game, often times forcing Elon to run the shot clock down and take tough, contested shots in the first half, they really clamped down in the second half as they held the visitors to just 38-percent shooting after halftime.

“We locked in,” Skerry said. “I thought William (Adala Moto) really set the tone right out of the gate in the second half with his defensive scoring, and then everyone else followed suit.”

Adala Moto was held scoreless in the first half, but his defensive effort coupled with a sweet mid-range jumper, fast-break layups, and two made free throws from a strong drive to the basket led to the Tiger’s first six points of the second half and a nine-point lead.

Towson wore “JD #10” shirts during warmups to honor senior John Davis.

“The first half my shot wasn’t falling, so the second half I came back with some intensity and tried to get it right,” Adala Moto said.

He finished strong with nine points and eight rebounds in the game.

But while it was Moto who sparked an early second-half run, it was Morsell who finished it off. All facets of his game were on full display: post play, mid-range game, running the floor on fast breaks, and obviously his trademark 3-pointer. He started out in the post in the second half, showing off his footwork with a few pump-fake, step-through moves that created easy layups.

Then, after a short lull midway through the half, Morsell caught fire from beyond the 3-point arc and closed the door on any hope Elon had of turning things around. There was a feeling around six minutes remaining that every time he caught the ball he was going to drain a shot. And, he nearly did, going 4-for-5 from 3-point land in the final six minutes as his team’s advantage swelled to an insurmountable 19 point lead with under two minutes remaining.

“Mike was Mike,” Skerry said. “That’s what we needed. He dominated the game. He’s on a whole different level. It’s not surprising.”

Towson’s backcourt also had a big game from Deshaun Morman, as he recorded a career-high six assists. Zane Martin dropped 12 points.

SECU Arena will host Senior Night on Saturday when the Tigers host James Madison at 7 pm. Both Davis and Adala Moto will be honored in a pre-game ceremony.

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Ryan Callinan

Staff Writer
Ryan Callinan was born with a passion for sports. He grew up playing soccer, basketball, and baseball; all sports he enjoyed, but it was soccer that he excelled at the most. HIs talent in soccer earned him a scholarship to Calvert Hall College High School, where he made varsity all four years and won two MIAA Championship. Then he earned a scholarship to play at UMBC for coach Peter Caringi. Two unfortunate knee injuries cut his soccer career short, but that’s when he found a love for writing. He ended up transferring to Towson University, graduated with a degree in English and worked his way to becoming a sports writer. After joining So Much Sports he was inspired to further pursue his graduate degree in journalism at Towson University. So while maybe his dream of becoming a pro soccer player won’t be realized, his might still be able to cover pro soccer teams. The sport it still his true love.

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