April 05, 2020

Towson stifles UMaine rally for 72-67 victory

TOWSON, Md. – The Towson Tigers roared out to a 17-7 lead to start the game and never trailed after that en route to a 72-67 men’s basketball win over the University of Maine on Thursday night.

The loss was the second in three years at Towson Center for the Black Bears.

UMaine lost to the Tigers by 10 early in the 1998-99 season and escaped with a one-point win last year.

The loss ends Maine’s winning streak at four games after an opening-night loss to Illinois and drops the Bears to 4-2. Towson improved to 3-3 in the mutual America East opener.

Brian Barber scored 25 points while Sam Sutton added 19 points and 12 rebounds for the Tigers. Brian Allen scored 15 and Shaun Holtz had 10.

Huggy Dye scored 17 and Carvell Ammons had 16 for the Black Bears. Colin Haynes grabbed 10 rebounds and handed out five assists.

The Black Bears trailed by as many as 20 points midway through the second half before battling their way back.

UMaine coach John Giannini was disappointed with the performance of his team in the first of two games on its first conference road trip (Delaware awaits on Saturday night).

“The first half was about as poorly we could possibly play,” Giannini said. “I think we were so impatient and passed so poorly against their zone that it had a lot of effect.”

Giannini said the poor showing was due in part to poor shooting and passing, a potent Towson fast break, and a group of players who reacted poorly to adversity.

UMaine’s top scorer, Julian Dunkley, entered the game averaging 20.8 ppg and managed just two points in 27 minutes of action. Dye scored 11 of his 17 in the first half and played only eight minutes after intermission.

The Tigers’ advantage peaked at 51-31, but Carvell Ammons and Colin Haynes sparked a five-minute run that virtually eliminated that lead.

Ammons scored seven straight points and 11 of UMaine’s 13 to fuel the comeback effort.

Included in Ammons’ first volley was a fast break dunk off a Haynes steal and feed. Haynes finished off the 10-point, 1:35 explosion with a 3-pointer that made it 58-50 with nine minutes to play.

Ammons then sandwiched a Shaun Holtz free throw with two more hoops of his own, and Errick Green scored on a power layup to make it 59-56. But when Greene missed an ensuing free throw that would have trimmed the lead to two points, the Bears had come as close as they would get.

“I was pleased with Carvell and all of those five players who brought us back,” Giannini said. “We just had played far too poorly prior to that. The only positive that we could take from from this game is that we didn’t quit and we fought our way back to have a chance.”

Brian Allen ended the run with a 3-pointer, and the Bears were never able to get within three points again.

The Bears trailed 69-60 with two minutes to play before putting on another mini run and making things interesting.

First, Tory Cavalieri nailed a transition 3-pointer off a Greene feed to make it 69-63 with 1:40 to go.

Then, after Towson’s Sam Sutton clanged an ill-advised 3-pointer early in the next shot clock cycle, the Bears pulled within five on a layup by Derrick Jackson at the 1:00 mark.

Two free throw misses by Kerry Augustus with 53 seconds left gave UMaine the ball back, the Bears failed to produce on two straight trips down the court: Cavalieri missed a 3-pointer on the first, then followed an Allen free throw by turning the ball over in the lane with 28 seconds to go.

The Tigers followed Cavalieri’s miscue with two free throws, and Ammons provided the final margin with a hoop in the final 10 seconds.

Tigers 72, Black Bears 67

Maine (4-2) Towson (3-3)

Player G AG F AF TP Player G AG F AF TP

Greene 4 4 0 2 8 Barber 10 17 5 6 25

Ammons 6 10 4 6 16 Sutton 8 13 2 6 19

Dunkley 1 6 0 0 2 Holtz 4 10 2 2 10

Jackson 3 7 0 0 7 Allen 5 6 1 3 15

Dye 6 12 0 0 17 Goodman 0 3 0 0 0

Waterman 0 0 0 0 0 Weatherspoon 1 3 0 0 2

Cavalieri 2 10 2 2 8 Augustus 0 2 1 4 1

Haynes 1 3 2 3 5 Shin 0 0 0 0 0

Brown 1 3 2 2 4

White 0 0 0 0 0

Totals 24 55 10 15 67 Totals 28 54 11 21 72

Maine 25 67

Towson 39 72

3-pt. goals: Maine (9-23): Dunkley 0-3, Jackson 1-3, Dye 5-7, Cavalieri 2-7, Haynes 1-2, Brown 0-1; Towson (5-12): Barber 0-1, Sutton 1-2, Holtz 0-3, Allen 4-4, Goodman 0-1, Augustus 0-1

Attendance: 1,075

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