Deon Jones takes a shot Friday night verse Kansas at Allen Field House.
Courtesy: Jeff Jacobsen
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Deon Jones takes a shot Friday night verse Kansas at Allen Field House.
Towson Drops Season Opener at No. 13 Kansas
Courtesy: Athletics Media Relations  
Release: 11/12/2011

LAWRENCE, Kan. – Senior Robert Nwankwo posted his 10th career double-double, but the Towson men’s basketball team, one of the youngest squads in the nation, fell at No. 13 Kansas, 100-54, in front of 16,300 fans at historic Allen Field House Friday evening.

Towson (0-1) held its own on the boards, outrebounding Kansas (1-0) 35-32, but the Tigers were unable to overcome the Jayhawks stellar shooting night. Six KU players netted double-digit points and the Jayhawks shot 58.6 percent from the floor.

Three Tigers scored in double-figures, led by Nwankwo’s 14 points to go along with a team-high 10 rebounds. Sophomore Marcus Damas tallied 11 points and pulled down seven boards, while freshman Kris Walden hit for 11 points in his first collegiate game.

First-year head coach Pat Skerry started four underclassmen and all six of his freshmen play significant minutes. All 12 players on Towson’s active roster played, including 10 newcomers.

Seven-time defending Big 12 Champion Kansas, which fell just one win shy of advancing to the programs 14th Final Four last year, won its season opener for the 10th consecutive season.

Junior forward Thomas Robinson led all scorers with 18 points and 11 rebounds for the Jayhawks. Travis Releford chipped in 14 points, including 12 in the opening half, while senior Tyshawn Taylor added 12.

Kansas took control of the game early, scoring 35 of the game's first 45 points, capped by Elijah Johnson's steal and driving dunk at the 9:58 mark. 

Towson battled back, using an 8-0 run to cut the Jayhawk lead to 47-26 with less than two minutes remaining in the opening half. Walden stole the ball from Taylor and drove in for a layup to help fuel Towson's late half surge.

The Tigers outscored Kansas 19-18 during the final 10 minutes of the first period to slice the halftime lead to 53-29.

The Jayhawks opened the second half much like the first, scoring 14 of the first 20 points to boast their lead. Deon Jones and Walden made consecutive three-point field goals for Towson to make it 73-46 at the 12:37 mark, but Kansas ran off 11 straight points to put the Tigers away for good.

Friday’s contest was part of the EA Sports Maui Invitational. Towson will continue with early round play in the tournament as the Tigers travel to No. 18 Michigan Monday. Tip time is set for 8:30 pm EST at Crisler Arena in Ann Arbor, Michigan.                

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