LORETTO, Pa. - Senior guard Krystal Parnell scored 16 points to lead the Tigers past St. Francis 59-53 on Saturday afternoon. The Tigers (7-2) won their third straight contest as Parnell added five rebounds and seven assists.
"I'm pleased to get out of here with the victory," said Towson Coach Joe Mathews. "We saw some things we need to work on but I'm pleased with the end result."
The two teams battled early as Rhonda Watts hit a pair of free throws at 14:33 to put the home team up 11-7. The Tigers then used a 7-2 run to take a 14-13 lead with 8:53 to play in the first half. Freshman guard Destiny Shearin scored six of the Tigers' seven during that stretch. Towson would score 15 of the final 23 points in the first half to take a 29-21 lead at the break.
Parnell led all scorers with nine points in the first half as the Tigers shot 42.3% from the floor. St. Francis (4-4) was held to a 19.4% field goal percentage in the first 20 minutes of the game. Towson held a 24-20 edge in the rebounding battle at the break.
The Tigers scored six of the first eight points in the second half to take a 35-23 lead with 17:05 to play in the game. The two teams traded baskets over the next several minutes with a jumper from sophomore guard Tanisha McTiller at 13:08 put the visitors up 41-29. The Red Flash cut the lead to 41-36 with a three pointer from Nickia Gibbs 9:59. The two teams battled on both ends of the court before four straight points from Alli Williams made it a 45-42 game with 5:46 to go. The Tigers would push their lead back to seven before a Williams' lay-up with 52 seconds left made it a 54-51 game. Towson would go 5-for-6 from the foul line in the final minute of play to seal the victory.
Towson shot 50% from the floor in the second half and finished the game shooting 45.8%. St. Francis shot 35% from the floor in the second half and 28.2% for the game. The Tigers held a 44-43 edge in the rebounding battle.
Parnell's double-digit performance was her third straight on the season. McTiller contributed nine points and six rebounds while redshirt sophomore forward Nyree Williams finished with a team-high 12 rebounds and seven points. Senior guard Deree Fooks had seven points and nine rebounds.
Williams led St. Francis with 18 points and 17 rebounds in the contest while Gibbs contributed a game-high 19 points.
Towson returns to action on Tuesday, Dec. 13 when the Tigers return home to host UMES at 7 p.m.
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