SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Sophomore guard Four McGlynn nailed a game-winning half court shot at the buzzer to propel Towson to a 63-60 victory over USC Upstate in the opening round of the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament inside the Hodge Center on Wednesday night.
The Tigers (24-10), who trailed by as many as 15 points, took a 60-58 lead with seven seconds remaining on a driving layup by senior Jerrelle Benimon. After Ty Green of USC Upstate scored to tie the game with 1.6 seconds left, McGlynn launched a three-pointer from 45-feet out that hit nothing but net as the buzzer sounded, giving Towson its first ever postseason victory.
Towson moves on to the second round of the CIT where the Tigers will take on East Tennessee State on Friday at 7 p.m.
USC Upstate (19-15) shot 58.3 percent in the first half and used nine points and five rebounds from Jodd Maxey to build a 39-26 lead at halftime. Towson roared back though in the second half, scoring the first 11 points out of the intermission to pull within 39-37.
The Tigers took their first lead of the game at the 8:33 mark of the second half when Benimon found senior Rafriel Guthrie for a fastbreak lay-up to give Towson a 51-50 advantage. The Tigers increased their lead to 55-52 on a layup from sophomore Timajh Parker-Rivera, but Upstate scored the next six points to go back up by three.
Maxey put Upstate ahead 58-55 with just over four minutes remaining when he hit a baseline jumper off a feed from Greene. Damas answered for Towson two possession later with a three-pointer from the wing to tie the game 58-58 with 3:08 remaining.
The two teams went scoreless for the next three minutes before Benimon gave the Tigers a 60-58 lead with a basket in the lane with seven seconds remaining. Following an Upstate timeout, Greene took the inbounds pass, raced the length of the floor and converted a layup to tie the game with 1.6 seconds left on the clock.
Benimon then threw an outlet pass up the court where a waiting McGlynn grabbed the ball and lifted a shot over the Upstate defense that found its way into the bottom of the net.
Towson shot 48.3 percent in the second half after opening the game shooting just 31.3 percent in the first 20 minutes. The Tigers had eight steals, their third most this season, which led to a 24-8 advantage in points off turnover.
Towson’s meeting with East Tennessee State on Friday will be the first between the programs on the hardwood.