TOWSON, Md. – A strong second-half performance lifted the Towson University women’s basketball team to a 76-56 win over LIU Brooklyn on Monday afternoon in SECU Arena. The Tigers had four players score in double figures for the second straight game and were led by guards Tanisha McTiller and Dominique Johnson who scored 17 points each.
“We talked at halftime about bringing a sense of urgency and we focused on that in the second half,” said Towson coach Niki Reid Geckeler. “We picked up our defensive effort in the second half. Nyree Williams had an incredible performance for us today all over the court. Johnson is our leader on the court and she showed that again today.”
The first half of the game was a back-and-forth affair as the two teams battled through six ties and four lead changes. Towson quickly opened up an 11-3 lead with 17:19 remaining in the half. McTiller had four of the Tigers’ 11 during that stretch. The two sides traded points and Towson held an 18-11 advantage with 12:48 to play. Nine straight points from Cleandra Roberts gave the visitors a 20-18 lead with 9:30 to play in the half. A bucket from freshman forward Brianna Bush halted Roberts’ run and tied the game at 20-20. The two teams continued to match each other point for point before a lay-up from Letava Whippy with three seconds left in the half tied the game at 30-30.
LIU Brooklyn shot 43.3% from the field in the first half while the Tigers shot 33.3%. Towson was aided by making 5-of-8 chances from the free throw line. The Blackbirds outrebounded Towson 23-21 in the first half.
The second half proved to be the difference in the game as the Tigers (4-5) turned in a big performance. The two sides traded baskets early in the second stanza and LIU Brooklyn (0-8) held a 38-35 lead after a Demi Tomlinson jumper at 15:08. Towson responded with an 11-2 run to take a 46-40 lead with 12:27 to play. Johnson hit a pair of threes for the Tigers during that run. Roberts scored the game’s next four points from the foul line to cut the Blackbirds’ deficit to two, 46-44 with 10:37 remaining in the game. However that was as close as the Blackbirds would get the rest of the way.
Towson scored 11 of the next 13 points in the game to take a 57-46 lead with 6:20 to play. Redshirt junior forward LaTorri Hines-Allen had four of the Tigers’ 11 during that stretch. LIU Brooklyn cut the Tiger lead to nine, 57-48 with 6:06 to play on Whippy’s jumper. Towson closed the game on a 19-8 run to secure the 20-point victory. McTiller had six points during that stretch while junior guard Markell Smith added four points.
LIU Brooklyn shot 37.5% from the field in the second half and 40.7% for the game. Towson shot 45.5% in the second stanza and 39.4% for the game. Towson made 17-of-23 (73.9%) chances from the charity stripe in the game. The Tigers finished the game with a 42-36 edge in the rebounding battle.
Johnson added five assists and three rebounds to her point total. McTiller had seven rebounds and four assists in addition to her 17 points. Hines-Allen finished with 16 points, six rebounds and two steals. Williams had a dominating all-around performance and posted her second straight “double-double” in the process. She contributed 10 points, 16 rebounds, four assists and seven steals.
Roberts led LIU Brooklyn with 21 points and three rebounds while Sophie Bhasin had 13 points and nine rebounds.
Towson will take a nine-day break for finals now. The Tigers return to the court on Wednesday, Dec. 18 when they travel to Morgan State for a 5:30 p.m. game.