Last Saturday, I headed up to Towson, Maryland to watch the Tigers open up CAA conference play against George Mason (my apologies for this being late, I'm glad there is no set deadline). There was quite a buzz on the Towson University campus that night. Unfortunately for the Tigers basketball team, it had nothing to do with them, and everything to do with the Tiger football team, who were hosting a home playoff game. While there were over 11,000 people at the football game, the announced attendance (with all 11,000 football attendees being given the opportunity to attend the game for free), was 1,102. The crowd was very subdued, and it seemed like their energy was nonexistent. The cheerleaders and pep band both made plenty of noise (and props to them for finishing the football game, then heading straight into the arena for the basketball game), but the crowd was very quiet, and the student section small.
I was very skeptical that the game would be close. The Tigers entered the game winless, having lost all of their games by double-digits. In their defense, they had played a very tough schedule, losing to three teams above the red-line, and Belmont. George Mason had mixed success on the young season, and entered the contest with a record of 6-2.
The game did not start out well for the home team, as the Patriots got out to an early 21-8 lead, and it looked like another blowout loss for the Tigers. However, this did not prove to be the case, as the Tigers stormed back to cut the lead to seven. It seemed that whenever George Mason wanted to go on a run to cut the game open, the Tigers responded, the lead stretched to double digits a second time, before Towson cut the lead to eight at the half.
The second half began much like the first. The Patriots stretched their lead and looked like they were going to run away with the game, but the Tigers never quit. A #superhoop by Marcus Damas pulled the Tigers to within five, and it looked like a comeback was in the making. However, that was as close as the Tigers were able to make it. The Patriots hit their free throws down the stretch, and ended the game on a 9-2 run to win 65-53. While it was their seventh straight double-digit loss, the Tigers gave the Patriots all they could handle and than some. Hopefully, the Tigers can build on games like this and increase the attention given to them on the Towson University campus.
GEORGE MASON 65, at TOWSON 53 12/03/2011
GEORGE MASON 6-2 (1-0) -- B. Allen 3-12 3-4 10; S. Wright 5-8 0-0 11; R. Pearson 3-5 6-6 14; M. Morrison 7-10 0-1 14; V. Vaughns 4-9 3-3 12; P. Bennett 0-3 0-1 0; J. Arledge 0-3 2-2 2; E. Copes 1-4 0-0 2; V. Gray 0-1 0-0 0; B. Lewis 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 23-55 14-17 65. TOWSON 0-7 (0-1) -- M. Damas 9-14 3-3 25; D. Jones 3-6 2-2 9; R. Nwankwo 0-6 1-4 1; E. Gumbs 1-6 3-4 5; K. Walden 3-9 0-0 7; W. Adams 2-5 0-0 6; J. Pressley 0-2 0-0 0; J. Flash 0-0 0-0 0; D. Cook 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 18-48 9-13 53.
Three-point goals: GMU 5-17 (R. Pearson 2-4; P. Bennett 0-1; V. Vaughns 1-6; S. Wright 1-2; B. Allen 1-3; V. Gray 0-1), TOWS 8-17 (E. Gumbs 0-1; W. Adams 2-4; M. Damas 4-6; D. Jones 1-2; J. Pressley 0-1; K. Walden 1-3); Rebounds: GMU 37 (M. Morrison 8), TOWS 25 (R. Nwankwo 7); Assists: GMU 11 (M. Morrison 3), TOWS 5 (K. Walden 2); Total Fouls -- GMU 14, TOWS 17; Fouled Out: GMU-None; TOWS-None.