MAINE vs. TOWSON
Time, site: Thursday, 7:30 p.m., Alfond Arena, Orono
Records: Maine 4-8 (1-3 America East), Towson 2-8 (0-3)
Series: Towson leads 5-3
Key players: Maine – 6-1 G Fred Meeks (23.8 ppg, 3.3 rpg), 6-1 G Fred Meeks (21.0 ppg, 3.3 rpg), 6-6 F Allen Ledbetter (15.7 ppg, 12.2 rpg), 6-7 F Colin Haynes (6.1 ppg, 9.4 rpg), 5-11 G Dade Faison (3.8 ppg, 6.6 apg); Towson – 6-6 F Ralph Biggs (16.4 ppg, 4.6 rpg), 6-4 G Derick Newton (8.7 ppg, 4.3 rpg), 6-11 G (8.5 ppg, 2.8 rpg), 6-1 G Raul de Pablo (5.9 ppg, 1.6 rpg), 6-6 F Alphonso Hawes (2.2 ppg, 4.6 rpg)
Outlook: After playing eight of its 12 games on the road, the Black Bears return to Alfond to kick off a three-game home stand. In all, six of the next eight will be in the more friendly confines of their home arena. Biggs is top player for Towson and will deserve some added attention, but the Tigers don’t possess a dominant rebounder and get limited point production from their backcourt. The way around that is to play good, hard-nosed defense. They’re doing that, to the tune of the fourth-best scoring defense in the league. And while that “D” hasn’t resulted in any wins, it certainly has kept the Tigers close: they’ve lost seven straight by an average margin of 7.6 points.