TOWSON, Md. - Trailing 53-27 with 10:37 to play in regulation, the Towson University women's basketball team rallied for a 73-69 win over Northeastern in overtime Thursday night in the Towson Center. The Tigers used a career-high 36 points from junior guard Tanisha McTiller to record one of the biggest comebacks in school history.
"I'm really proud of what my kids got done tonight," said Towson coach Joe Mathews. "The first half was disappointing, but It's one of the most incredible wins I've been a part of. It was fantastic to watch."
Mathews' victory gave him 145 career coaching wins at Towson. He tied Ellen Fitzkee for the program record with the victory.
Christine Huber's lay-up at 10:37 of the second half gave Northeastern (15-11, 8-7 CAA) a 53-27 lead, the visitors' largest of the game. McTiller hit a pair of free throws at 10:08 that jump started an incredible tear for the Tigers. Towson used a 35-8 run to take a 62-61 lead with eight seconds to play. That run included the Tigers scoring 14 straight points and gave the home team their first lead since 12:31 of the first half. McTiller took over the game for the Tigers, scoring 23 of the team's 35 points during that span.
"We started to press and I think that surprised them a little bit," said Mathews. "They let us back in the game. Tanisha hit a big three and Dominique Johnson hit a big three and we got looser. It was great to see."
After the Tigers took the lead, a foul put Northeastern on the line for a one-and-one opportunity with four seconds left. A'lece Mark converted the first but missed the second which sent the game into the extra session.
The two teams traded points early in the overtime stanza and found themselves tied at 64-64 with 2:56 to play. McTiller hit a jumper and the freshman guard Johnson converted a three-pointer to give Towson a 69-64 lead with 1:44 to play. Northeastern would cut it close on a three-pointer from Kashaia Cannon, however McTiller went 4-for-6 from the foul line in the final 30 seconds to help the Tigers secure the comeback victory.
The Tigers came back for the victory after struggling in the first half. The Tigers opened the game by scoring 14 of the game's first 22 points. However, Northeastern used a 19-0 run to take a 27-14 lead with 3:36 to play in the half. A basket by Johnson at 3:07 briefly halted the Huskies' run. Northeastern closed out the first half on a 9-2 run to take a 36-18 lead at the half.
McTiller hit a three-pointer to open the second half but Northeastern responded with a 14-6 run to take a 51-27 lead with 11:20 to go in regulation. Huber's bucket followed at 10:37 and set the stage for the Tigers' dramatic comeback.
After shooting just 27% in the first half from the field, the Tigers found their shooting touch in the second half. Towson shot 59.1% from the floor in the second half and 50% in overtime to finish the game shooting 41%. Towson was 18-for-23 (78.3%) from the foul line in the game. Northeastern shot 46.4% from the floor in the first half but just 36.7% in the second half and 28.6% in overtime. The Huskies finished the game shooting 40% from the field and 80% (8-for-10) from the line. The Huskies just edged the Tigers in the rebounding battle, 41-40.
McTiller's 36 points are tied for the third-most in single-game history at Towson. She had her seventh "double-double" of the season with the 10 rebounds. McTiller's performance came mostly in the second half as she had just four points at halftime. Johnson finished with 16 points, four assists and four steals in the game. Senior forward Michelle Peebles posted her second "double-double" of the year with 15 points and 10 rebounds.
Four Northeastern players scored in double figures led by Mark's 17 points.
Towson closes out its home schedule and plays the final game in the Towson Center when it hosts William & Mary on Saturday, March at 6:30 p.m.