TOWSON, Md. – The Naval Academy held off a late rally by the Towson University women’s basketball team for a 56-55 win in SECU Arena on Friday night in the season opener for both squads. Senior Tanisha McTiller recorded the ninth “double-double” of her career to lead the Tiger efforts.
“We continued to play and continued to fight and didn’t quit which will be an important attribute to the success of this program down the stretch,” said Towson coach Niki Reid Geckeler. “We need to keep working on the chemistry.”
Navy (1-0) which held a four-point lead coming out of the half quickly pushed its advantage to 35-24 with 18:35 to play in the game. The Midshipmen hit a pair of three-pointers in their 8-3 run to start the second half. The Tigers responded with a 9-2 run of their own to make it a 36-34 game with 16:02 to play. Sophomore Dominique Johnson scored five of the Tigers’ nine during that stretch. The Mids pushed their advantage back to seven with 14:50 to play but Towson scored nine of the next 10, which made it a 43-43 game with 12:27 to go. A lay-up from Sarita Condie at 12:02 gave Navy the lead back. The Mids pushed their advantage to 47-43 at 10:59.
McTiller scored five points in the span of a minute and a half and the Tigers found themselves trailing by just one, 49-48 with 7:16 to play. Redshirt senior Nyree Williams made one-of-two from the foul line at 4:20 and tied the game at 51-51. Five points from Audrey Bauer gave Navy a 56-52 lead with 1:02 to play. Johnson hit a jumper with 49 seconds left on the clock to cut the deficit to two, 56-54. Both teams had their chances before a Navy foul sent McTiller to the line with seven seconds left. McTiller hit the first which made it a one-point game but missed the second and Navy corralled the rebound to help secure the victory.
Towson opened the game on a 13-9 run as McTiller had eight points in the game’s first 12 minutes. Four straight points from Navy’s Jade Geif tied the game at 13-13. Geif’s spurt started a 12-0 run by the Mids that gave the visitors a 21-13 lead. Towson closed out the half on a 9-5 run that included four points from McTiller. However, a late three from Kara Pollinger sent Navy into the half with a 26-22 lead.
Navy shot 40.7% from the field for the game while the Tigers shot 34.9%. Towson finished the game with a 47-34 edge in the rebounding battle.
McTiller led the Tigers with 21 points and 15 rebounds while adding five assists and three steals. Redshirt junior LaTorri Hines-Allen had 14 points and eight rebounds in her first appearance after sitting out last year due to the NCAA transfer rule. Johnson added 10 points and five assists while Williams had 10 rebounds and five points.
Bauer led Navy with 18 points and four rebounds while Pollinger contributed 12 points.
Towson is back in action on Monday, Nov. 11 at N.C. State for a 7 p.m. tip-off.