TOWSON, Md. – The Towson University women’s basketball team opened the second half on a 17-4 run and broke open a close game en route to a 67-46 victory over Loyola University on Saturday afternoon in SECU Arena. The Tigers (5-7) snapped a two-game losing streak as three players scored in double figures, led by sophomore guard Dominique Johnson’s 20 points.
“We’re a team that’s turning the corner right now, if we can continue this effort we’ll be happy,” said Towson coach Niki Reid Geckeler. “Our defensive effort was good, we went to a full court press and the girls’ eyes got big for the ball. We had good ball movement and people movement today and it worked in our favor.”
The first half was a back and forth affair that featured four ties and seven lead changes. Loyola (3-8) opened the game by scoring 11 of the first 18 points to take a four-point lead with 11:14 left to play. Freshman forward Brianna Bush hit one-of-two from the foul line at 10:49 to start an 8-0 run by the Tigers. That scoring spurt gave Towson a 15-11 advantage with 7:56 left in the half.
During that run, senior guard Tanisha McTiller passed Angie Matthes (1,225 career points) for fifth place on the career scoring list at Towson.
Four straight points from Tiffany Padgett tied the game at 15-15. The two teams traded baskets over the final four minutes of the half. Sophomore guard Alliyah Berger’s three-pointer at 1:04 sent Towson into the locker room with a 22-20 lead at the half.
Loyola shot 30.8% from the field to Towson’s 30% in the first 20 minutes of action. Both teams grabbed 20 rebounds in the first half.
Loyola got the opening basket of the second half to tie the game at 22-22 with 18:58 remaining to play. Towson responded by scoring 17 of the next 19 points in the game to take a 39-24 lead with 11:27 left in the game. McTiller and redshirt junior forward LaTorri Hines-Allen each had six points during that stretch for the Tigers. The two teams battled on both ends of the court and traded baskets over the next several minutes. Johnson’s third three-pointer of the game at 4:29 pushed the Towson lead to 56-36. Towson closed the game on a 9-2 run that covered the final three minutes of action. Johnson scored five more points during that stretch for the Tigers as they claimed a 67-44 victory.
Loyola shot 36.7% from the field in the second half and 33.9% for the game. The Greyhounds were just 1-for-19 (5.3%) from three-point range in the contest. Towson shot 50% from the field in the second half and 39.3% for the game. The Tigers were 6-for-12 from three-point range in the second half and finished the game at a 40% clip. Towson won the rebounding battle, 39-34.
In addition to her 20 points, Johnson had four assists and three steals in 40 minutes of action. McTiller finished with 14 points and four rebounds while Hines-Allen had 13 points, eight rebounds and three steals. Eight of the 11 Tigers that saw time in the game scored at least three points. Redshirt senior forward Nyree Williams was a strong contributor on the defensive end with nine rebounds, three blocks, four steals and six points.
Nai Brown led Loyola with 15 points and four rebounds while Lisa Mirarchi had 10 points, eight rebounds and six assists.
Towson will look to make it two in a row when the Tigers travel to Coppin State on Saturday, Jan. 4 for a 2 p.m. game.