Early deficit too much for Tribe: Men fall behind by 17 at halftime in conference opener

Down by 17 at halftime, the Tribe failed to achieve a comeback, falling to the Towson University Tigers 60-73 Tuesday night. Freshman David Schneider came off the bench to score 18 points on 5 of 9 shooting (4-8 from three-point range). Senior Adam Payton added 16 points and junior Kyle Carrabine notched a career-high 10 points. The trio contributed 44 of the College’s 60 points as junior scorers Laimis Kisielius and Nathan Mann went a combined 1 for 14 from the floor to total just six points.

p. The Tigers used an 8-0 run in the first half combined with consistent scoring to establish their 42-25 lead at the half.

p. “We didn’t defend very well in the first half. We gave up a lot of lay-ups,” Head Coach Tony Shaver said. “We had a hard time making shots.”

p. The Tribe came out in the second half with more intensity and quickly started a 10-2 run to trim the deficit to nine. The College managed to get within six points twice, but could not cut into the lead anymore.

p. “You can’t dig a 17-point hole in this league and expect to win every time,” Shaver said.

p. Towson established and maintained the lead by shooting 53.1 percent for the game, en route to their first win against the Tribe in Kaplan Arena.

p. Tribe 73, Cornell 68

p. Despite their Tuesday night loss, the Tribe showed promise this weekend when they won the Tribe Tip-Off Classic in a thrilling comeback victory over Cornell University in overtime 73-68. Kisielius and Mann came off the bench to score 21 and 15 points, respectively, to lead the Tribe to its second Tip-Off Championship in three years.

p. Down 46-59 with just five minutes remaining, the College appeared to be out of the game, but Payton’s defense sparked a 16-3 run that enabled the Tribe to tie the game at 62-62 and force overtime.

p. “Just keep playing hard. That was our focus,” Payton said. “We didn’t really have a set game plan. We knew we would need heart to win it.”

p. After Shaver called a timeout with 4:54 left, the College swarmed the Big Red with full-court pressure and man-to-man defense, forcing six Cornell turnovers in the final five minutes of the game. With the defense disrupting the Big Red offense, the Tribe reeled off 12 unanswered points to cut their deficit to one at 58-59 with 1:15 left.

p. Cornell extended its lead to four after Jason Battle hit two free throws and Andrew Naeve made one free throw to make it 58-62. With 28 seconds to go in regulation, Mann buried a three from the corner off an assist from senior guard Adam Trumbower, cutting the deficit to one at 61-62. After each team used a timeout, Payton bolted into the passing lane, stole the inbounds pass and earned a trip to the foul line with just 14 seconds remaining. He made only one free throw, knotting the score at 62-62. Cornell’s Battle tried to give his team the lead, but as he drove to the basket, Trumbower stepped into his path and drew a charge to send the game into overtime. With the momentum on their side, the College never trailed in overtime en route to a 73-68 victory.

p. Payton, whose free throw shooting and defense buoyed the Tribe to the championship, earned the Classic MVP award, and Kisielius, who turned in 41 points in the tournament, was named to the All-Tournament team.

p. Tribe 59, Jacksonville State 56

p. The Tribe secured its place in the championship game by defeating the Jacksonville State University Gamecocks 59-56 Friday night. Despite committing 28 turnovers and missing 16 of 33 free throws, the Tribe used strong rebounding, hustle and clutch free throw shooting from Kisielius to escape with a victory.
p. “Effort plays won the game for us,” Shaver said. “Offensively we were not really good with the ball. It’s amazing what one guy [Schneider] can do for you.”

p. The College nearly let the win slip away as the Gamecocks scored eight straight points to cut the Tribe’s lead to one, but with 19 seconds left, Kisielius stepped to the foul line and drained two free throws to give the College a three-point advantage. Jacksonville State’s Will Ginn misfired with his three-point attempt and sophomore Chris Darnell secured the rebound and the game for the Tribe.

p. The Tribe will play the University of North Florida Ospreys for the first time tonight at 7 p.m. in Kaplan Arena.


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