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Tigers chain up Retrievers, move to 4-1

Towson finished off its home stretch in November undefeated, beating UMBC Sunday 56-45.

The Tigers only led by a slim 23-21 margin at halftime, but then charged ahead and took a commanding lead for most of the second half.

“I thought the team did a fantastic job defensively, following the game plan,” Head Coach Joe Mathews said. “[UMBC’s] a very good offensive basketball team. They play deliberate style, but they execute as well as anyone we’ll play. I thought we did a fantastic job of taking them out of stuff that was most comfortable to them.”

A good chunk of UMBC’s points came from the free-throw line.

The Retrievers went 14-15 on the line, while Towson went 11-20 at the line. Mathews said that his team has to do a better job of converting from the charity stripe.

“Our season stats are actually pretty mind-blowing on us being able to make more free throws than the opponents attempted. We put them at the line way too much today,” Mathews said. “The game was called fairly. It was called tight in a lot of situations, and we adjusted in the second half.”

Sophomores Nyree Williams and Tanisha McTiller both had four fouls.

Mathews said he would like to see the sophomores show more discipline.

“[Williams] wants to make an impact on both ends of the floor, but the fouls that she’s making are just not smart fouls, and she’s such a smart kid and such a smart player. It’s just an energy thing with her,” Mathews said.

“It’s a competitive thing. Same thing with Tanisha McTiller. Tanisha got a frustration foul at the end because she turned the ball over at the 4:30 media timeout. We had a play diagram, and she turned it over. And she got mad and fouled [Michelle] Kurowski. She had done such a great job on Kurowski all game long that for me to take her out in the situation because she got four fouls is tough.”

Senior Krystal Parnell played a solid game. She finished with a double-double with 11 rebounds and 20 points.

Of her rebounds, 10 were defensive. This is the first time all season anyone on the team has had 20 points in one game. Parnell attributed her success to “just having heart.”

“I tried to get, on the jump shots, all the balls that I was going far. I was trying to make sure I was getting all those rebounds,” she said. “Most of their shots was bouncing off and going to the free throw line, so I was just trying to see where it was going and try to collect most of those rebounds. Coach Mathews says you can’t put so much emphasis on our post players rebounding. The guards got to help a little bit too, so I feel that if I can help come and rebound, get more possessions, then we can score more points.”

The team will travel to the University of Connecticut on Wednesday before returning home Sunday to open CAA play against the James Madison Dukes.

“Honestly, I’m pleased with the way the schedule played out,” Mathews said. “No disrespect to Western Kentucky, but playing teams like Syracuse and to play Princeton, who are two top-25, vote-getting teams, prepared us for Western Kentucky. UConn couldn’t come in at a better time to prepare us for JMU.”

Parnell is convinced that the team will play well against UConn as long as it sticks together and stays with the scouting report.

“I think our confidence is there. We are a team. We do everything together,” she said. “I feel protecting home court was good. I feel the wins we’ve been having is good. But going down, I feel like we just come together as a team, and it feels good to win now.”

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