Towson close, but loses 46-40 to No. 15 Georgetown
After going 1-31 last season, Towson retained only three
scholarship players and added three transfers from the Big East.
The Tigers also put together a schedule that was something –
literally – to write home about, opening with 10 straight games on
They’re off to a decent start, and Game No. 9 was nearly a major
upset. Towson stayed close the entire way before falling 46-40 to
cold-shooting No. 15 Georgetown.
”The biggest thing is our new and better players,” Towson
coach Pat Skerry said. ”When you get good players, it makes you
look like a pretty good coach.”
The best of the new arrivals was an ace in the hole against the
Hoyas. Georgetown transfer Jerrelle Benimon had 11 points and 16
rebounds to lead the Tigers (4-5), and he played traffic cop on
defense for a team that often seemed to know what was coming from
the Princeton Offense.
”I could read stuff. I played in the offense, so it’s just a
whole bunch of reads, so once you see one thing you can sniff it
out,” Benimon said. ”It helped a lot, especially in the first
The Tigers held the Hoyas (7-1) to 17 percent shooting in the
first half and 29 percent for the game, but Towson was undone by 22
turnovers and a 33 percent shooting performance that was only a
little better than Georgetown’s.
With the game on the line, the Tigers’ final possessions were a
hodgepodge of turnovers and air balls. Towson’s final points came
on a 3-pointer from freshman point guard Jerome Hairston that cut
the Hoyas’ lead to 42-40 with 4:35 to play.
”It was one of those games where we said, `Let’s try to make it
as ugly as possible,”’ Georgetown coach John Thompson III said.
”This group, we can win a lot of different ways. We can win at a
fast pace. We can win at a slow pace. We can win what purists may
call pretty. But we can also win ugly, and I thought that in the
second half we had to win ugly today.”
If that’s the case, the strategy was a roaring success.
Georgetown managed to win despite its second clankfest in eight
days. The Hoyas set the school record for scoring futility in the
shot clock era with a 37-36 win over Tennessee – a game Thompson
compared to one he played when he was 8 years old.
This time, he was more defensive about the offensiveness of his
offense. He said he was concerned about the lack of scoring, but
not overly concerned. He insisted he has ”good offensive
players,” but he said they are ”immature offensively” and ”have
a lot of growing up to do.”
”We have a lot of guys that are thinking, trying to figure out
where to go, what to do, what reads to make,” Thompson said.
”It’s something we have to work on.”
Greg Whittington scored 11 points, and Mikael Hopkins and Otto
Porter had 10 apiece for the Hoyas, whose only loss came in
overtime against No. 1 Indiana. Towson was the first of four home
opponents in the soft part of the schedule that, in theory, is
supposed to give Thompson a chance to give his bench some
much-needed work, but Tigers showed they are no longer a punch line
of a team.
”We got some talent and they compete pretty hard,” Skerry
said, ”and as we get more and more cohesive, I think we have a
change of having a pretty good ball club and obviously build a
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