TOWSON, Md. – Sophomore guard Dominique Johnson’s three-pointer at the buzzer lifted the Towson University women’s basketball team to a thrilling 66-65 win over Northeastern in SECU Arena Sunday afternoon. The Tigers (8-7, 2-0 CAA) won their fourth straight game and improved to 2-0 in the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) with the victory.
“Wow, what a game,” said Towson coach Niki Reid Geckeler. “I’m so proud of our ladies for playing from start to finish today. Tanisha McTiller started the game very aggressive and Johnson finished really aggressive for us.”
The game was a back and forth affair that featured nine ties and 10 lead changes.
Northeastern (7-8, 1-1 CAA) opened the game on a 14-8 run as Amencie Mercier hit a three-pointer at 15:14. Towson responded by scoring 12 of the game’s next 18 points to tie the contest at 20-20 with 6:34 to play in the half. McTiller tallied nine of the Tigers’ 12 during that stretch. The two teams traded baskets as a three-pointer from Kazzidy Stewart put the visitors’ ahead 25-22 with 4:37 left in the half. Redshirt junior forward LaTorri Hines-Allen hit a jumper at 2:05 to start a 7-2 run by the home team to close out the half. That stretch was capped by a three-pointer from junior guard Ciara Webb with three seconds left that sent the Tigers into the break leading 31-27.
Towson shot 46.7% from the field in the first half to Northeastern’s 46.2%. The Tigers held a slim 18-16 edge in the rebounding battle after the first 20 minutes.
McTiller scored five of the first seven points in the second half which gave Towson a 36-29 lead with 17:52 remaining in the game. Northeastern called timeout following the senior guard’s triple. Northeastern responded by scoring nine of the game’s next 11 points to tie the game at 38-38 with 14:10 left on the clock. Tiffany Montagne recorded seven of the Huskies’ nine points during that stretch. The two teams continued to battle as Jewel Tunstull’s lay-up at 6:52 gave the visitors a 49-45 advantage. Towson scored nine straight points to take a 53-49 lead with 2:59 to play. Johnson had four for the Tigers during that run. Northeastern scored 12 of the next 14 points to take a six-point lead, 61-55 with 47 seconds left on the clock. Mercier and A’lece Mark each had five points during that stretch, which set the stage for a dramatic final 45 seconds.
A pair of three’s from Johnson sandwiched around two made free throws from Mark cut the Northeastern lead to 63-61 with 30 seconds showing on the clock. Mark made one-of-two from the line with 27 seconds left to put Northeastern up 64-61. Johnson connected on both of her chances from the charity stripe with 13 seconds to play, which made it a 64-63 game. A foul by the Tigers but Mercier on the line with six seconds left but she was only able to make one of two chances, which put Northeastern up 65-63. Redshirt senior forward Nyree Williams corralled the rebound on the miss and Johnson brought the ball down the court for what turned out to be the game-winning bucket. The referees went to the replay to make sure Johnson’s shot got off in time and were able to confirm the Tiger victory, 66-65.
Towson shot 42.9% from the field in the second half and 44.8% for the game. The Tigers made six three-pointers and went 8-for-12 from the foul line. Northeastern shot 41.7% in the second half and 44.0% for the game. The Huskies made nine three-pointers and were 12-for-18 from the line. Towson held a 34-33 edge in the rebounding battle.
McTiller tallied a season-high 27 points and added nine rebounds, five steals and two assists. Early in the first half, she passed Ruth Anne Holter (1,264 points) for fourth place on the career scoring list at Towson. Hines-Allen had 14 points and five rebounds. Johnson finished with 15 points, including the game-winner. All of her points came in the second half as she also added four assists.
“I have to give credit to my teammates today cause I was slumping early and they uplifted me and made that last shot possible,” said Johnson.
Northeastern had four players score in double figured led by Mark, who finished with 15 points.
Towson puts its win streak to the test on Thursday, Jan. 16 when the Tigers host CAA preseason favorite, James Madison at 7 p.m. in SECU Arena.