TRIBE 56, TOWSON 69
Twenty-two turnovers proved insurmountable for the College of William and Mary (6-14, 1-9 CAA) in a sloppy 69-56 loss to Towson University (8-14, 3-7 CAA) Wednesday night at Kaplan Arena. The Tribe has now lost six consecutive conference games.
The Tigers emerged from the game with 15 steals, out-hustling a sluggish College squad, which was outscored 22-7 in points off turnovers and now holds sole possession of last place in the CAA. The Tribe also played without starting junior guard David Schneider, who missed the contest due to a sprained right ankle sustained midway through practice Tuesday.
“The turnovers are the difference in the ball game,” Head Coach Tony Shaver said. “We had three guards who had a total of 14, 15 turnovers… We’ve been really good defensively all year long, and we scored 36 first-half points, but we couldn’t stop them. It’s always one item that seems to hurt us right now.”
Despite the Tribe’s mismanagement of the basketball, the College trailed by only one point at the break and found itself within the same margin with 16:12 left in the second half. Over the next four minutes, however, the Tigers extended their lead to seven, courtesy of five Tribe turnovers.
Towson’s lead grew to 56-46 with just under nine minutes remaining, and the Tigers cruised relatively unscathed to the victory.
“[The loss] was a combination of their pressure and also [our] turnovers,” freshman forward Quinn McDowell said. “It’s really deflating when you’re not able to get shots on the offensive end, and they start running down on the other end and they’re getting easy shots.”
Early foul trouble limited McDowell to nine first-half minutes, but the freshman remained poised and rallied to collect ten of the College’s 20 second-half points to finish the game six of seven from the field for a career-high 16 points and six rebounds.
“[McDowell is] the one guy right now that finishes inside,” Shaver said. “He’s 6’5,” but he’s our best finisher.”
In addition to the sloppy ball handling, the College failed to find its stroke at the foul line, hitting only eight of 20 attempts and missing five within the first five minutes of the game. Such misses prevented the Tribe from extending an early 12-4 lead. Towson eventually erased the Tribe’s lead and tied the game at 21-21 with 9:22 remaining in the first half.
The Tribe’s 56.5 percent shooting in the first half propelled the team to its third-highest scoring first half all season. Unfortunately for the College, its shooting cooled off in the second half, during which the Tribe made only seven field goals.
Junior forward Danny Sumner finished with a game-high 19 points and five rebounds.
The Tribe returns to Kaplan Arena this Saturday to take on Georgia State University (5-16, 3-7 CAA) at 5 p.m.