By Ryan Winner
Towson men’s basketball had its fans on the edges of their seats Thursday night, narrowly knocking off the College of Charleston Cougars, 74-70.
With the win, Towson moves to 10-12 on the year and 3-6 in league play, moving them into a three-way tie for seventh place in the CAA standings.
Towson came out of the gate ready to play, grabbing a very early advantage on a 10-2 run followed by a 14-0 run. The Tigers shot 50-percent in the first half and also won the rebounding battle 24-10, including six offensive boards, while holding the Cougars to only just 19.2-percent from the floor (5-of-26). Cougars’ star guard Canyon Barry was held scoreless in the first half, missing all six of his field goal attempts, and Towson went into the locker room up 33-19.
“I’m really proud of the way our guards rebounded the ball,” Towson head coach Pat Skerry said. Towson was all over the boards for the entire game, winning the rebounding battle 42-26, including 13 offensive rebounds.
For most of the second half, Towson maintained their lead, keeping the Cougars from breaking any big runs. However, as the game drew closer to the end, Towson’s defense began to get exposed, with Barry scoring all 16 of his points in the second half, including three 3-pointers, and Charleston cut the Tigers’ lead to 51-49 with 6:42 left.
But Towson never surrendered the lead, and managed to stay one step ahead of Charleston at all times, thanks in large part to clutch free-throw shooting from star guard Four McGlynn, who hit 12 of his 13 attempts, most of which were in crunch time, and finished with 20 points in the game.
Barry kept the game interesting, hitting two of his 3-pointers late in game and Towson managed to finish strong. Towson freshman guard Mike Morsell had a strong effort, finishing with 15 points and six rebounds.
“I think [Morsell] has an incredibly high ceiling,” said Coach Skerry, who spoke very highly of his young player. Morsell has continued to improve over the course of the season, and his playing time has increased dramatically.
“I don’t think I’ve ever seen someone bulk up during a season as much as [Morsell],” Skerry explained.