Hot-Shooting Tigers Pull Away From Panthers In Overtime
Courtesy: TBD  
Release: 02/11/2009
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David Brewster was one of five Tigers to score in double figures.
Courtesy:Scott Thornton

TOWSON, Md. Junior guard Josh Thornton hit a key three-point basket in overtime as the Tigers (9-17, 4-10) made all five of their field goal attempts in the extra session en route to a wild 82-72 Colonial Athletic Association victory over Georgia State University (7-18, 5-9) in the Towson Center on Wednesday evening.

      With the win, the Tigers avenged an earlier 68-46 loss to the Panthers and snapped a three-game losing streak.

      However, the game was filled with twists and turns as Georgia State used a 14-0 run at the end of the first half to take a 35-24 lead at intermission.

      But, the Tigers took the wind of the Panthers' sails by scoring 13 of the first 15 points of the second half. Towson's fast start tied the game at 37-37 with 15:53 remaining and set the stage for a wild finish.

      One of five Tigers to score in double figures, Thornton’s fourth three-point basket of the game gave Towson a 72-68 advantage with 3:25 left in overtime. Less than a minute later, sophomore David Brewster nailed a three-point basket that rolled around and into the basket, putting the Tigers up by 75-70 with 2:34 left.

      After sophomore Jarrel Smith made one of two free throws with 2:16 left, sophomore Brian Morris gave the Tigers a 78-70 edge with 1:56 remaining.

      When Georgia State cut the deficit to 78-72 on a layup by Xavier Hansboro, Smith put the game out of reach by drilling a 16-footer for an 80-72 lead with 1:06 remaining.

      A fast break slam dunk by Junior Hairston with 19 seconds left provided the finishing touches on Towson’s 82-72 win.

      “Every win is an important one for us,” said Coach Pat Kennedy. “We had to make a comeback tonight and it was great to do that at home. We used a lot of players and that may have helped us in the end. When we got into the overtime, we appeared to be stronger because we used our bench so much.”

      The Tigers appeared to have won the game in regulation when they went on a 7-0 run to grab a 65-58 lead with 2:39 remaining. A three-pointer by Thornton, a dunk by Hairston and a driving layup by Smith gave the Tigers their seven-point lead.

      However, the Panthers came from behind to send the game into overtime. With 1:40 left, junior Kevin Lott was fouled on a three-pointer and made all three foul shots to pull Georgia State to within 65-61. After Brewster went 1-for-2 at the foul line, a long three-pointer by junior guard Trae Goldston cut the Panthers’ deficit to 66-64 with 1:10 remaining.

      With 59 seconds left, Brewster upped the Tiger lead to 67-64 by making one of two free throws. However, junior guard Joe Dukes connected on a difficult three-point basket with 7.1 seconds left. His three-pointer tied the game at 67-67, the sixth and final tie of the game.

      Smith, who didn’t score his first points until there were 9:32 left in regulation, led the Tigers with 18 points, hitting all six of his shots from the floor. He also nailed a three-pointer and made five of seven free throw attempts.

      “Obviously, I’ve been in a slump,” said Smith. “Coach got on me at halftime because I didn’t take any shots. In the second half, I wanted to take a shot even if it was a bad one – just to get going.”

      The Tigers, who were held to 27.1 per cent shooting in their first game against the Panthers, shot a seasonal high 55.1 per cent against Georgia State in the rematch.

      Hairston added 14 points with seven rebounds and two blocked shots while Thornton added 12 points. Morris scored ten points and matched his career high with nine assists. Brewster also scored ten points.

      Goldston led the Panthers with 25 points as he hit 10 of 17 shots from the floor, including 5 of 9 three-pointers.

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