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Towson Rallies To Edge Men's Basketball In Home Opener
Nov. 29, 2003
Baltimore, Md. - Sophomore Charlie Bell scored 20 points and freshman Shane James added a career-high 16 points but Towson's late surge pushed the Tigers past Loyola 66-62 at Reitz Arena on Saturday night.
The Greyhounds were in control from the opening minute when sophomore Bobby Bossman scored the game's first three points on a three-pointer from the left arc. Loyola built its lead steadily, leading 10-2, then 16-9, and then reaching its biggest lead of the first half (21-12) on James' bucket at 7:25.
"We played a very good first half," says Loyola Head Coach Scott Hicks. "This team is much better offensively than it was a year ago. We need to get our defense going now and good things will happen."
Bell finished the first half with 11 points and five rebounds and Loyola led 30-22 at the break. A three-pointer for Bell to open the second half gave the Greyhounds an 11-point advantage. Towson chipped away at that lead and finally tied the score 40-40 at the 12-minute mark.
"Towson used their long hands and made plays," says Hicks. "We had our opportunities to win this game, but we didn't take advantage - especially from the free throw line."
Loyola ended the game shooting 14-of-26 from the charity stripe. Junior Bernard Allen pulled down a team-high 10 rebounds while Bell, Bossman and James combined for seven three-point baskets. Junior Irakli Nijaradze scored six while sophomore Linton Hinds added five points and two assists.
For the second game in a row, the Greyhounds have more assists than turnovers, but Towson's Trevan Jackson scored a career-high 15 points to lead his team to victory. The Tigers shoot 64 percent from the field in the second half, scoring 44 points to give them a 2-1 record on the season.
"Loyola has improved a lot since last season," says Towson Head Coach Michael Hunt. "They've played well in all three of their games this year, but haven't put two good halves together. They're a young team and you'll have that. They are better though."
Leading the way is Bell, fresh off a career-high 22 points versus Coppin State, he almost reaches that total with his 20 points against Towson. He leads the Greyhounds with an 18 point-per-game average.
"Moving over to shooting guard this season has definitely helped me play my game," says Bell. "Each game I get more comfortable and each game our team gets a little better. I just want to help this team win games and I think that can happen soon."
The Greyhounds are 0-3 and travel to Iona for their first Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference game this Tuesday. They face the Gaels at 7:30 p.m. Iona is 1-2 this season after falling to George Mason earlier on Saturday afternoon.