TOWSON, Md. - Drexel University used a 15-point halftime advantage to post a 62-48 victory over the Towson University women's basketball team on Tuesday night. The Tigers had three players score in double figures, including 14 points each from guards Dominique Johnson and Tanisha McTiller.
"Obviously the difference in the game was the first half," said Towson coach Joe Mathews. "The team is getting better, I can say that. However when Tanisha struggles to shoot the ball, we're going to struggle."
Drexel (15-6, 8-2 CAA) opened the game by scoring eight of the first nine points. The Dragons extended their advantage to 15-5 with 11:50 to play in the half as Taylor Wootton connected on a jumper. A McTiller layup at 8:20 made it a 19-9 game in favor of the visitors. Hollie Mershon made a jumper at 3:56 to give Drexel a 27-12 advantage. After a basket from Johnson, Tory Thierolf made the half's final basket at 2:12. Thierolf's basket gave Drexel a 29-14 lead at the intermission.
Drexel shot 45.8% from the field in the first half while going 4-for-5 from the foul line. Towson (7-14, 1-9 CAA) shot 22.7% in the half and made 4-for-6 from the foul line. Drexel held a slim 16-15 advantage in the rebounding battle.
The Dragons scored five of the second half's first nine points to take a 34-18 lead with 17:14 to play. That was Drexel's largest advantage of the game. McTiller made one-of-two from the line at 16:51 to start a 9-4 run by the Tigers. That scoring spurt was capped by a pair of free throws from Johnson at 13:22 that made it a 38-27 game. Thierolf made a pair of free throws at 10:11 to give the visitors a 42-28 lead. A 7-2 run by the Tigers that featured four points from senior forward Michelle Peebles cut the Tiger deficit to 44-35 with 8:25 to play. However a 7-0 run by Drexel pushed the visitors' lead back to 16, 51-35 with 6:16 to play.
Trailing 55-39 with 4:11 remaining, the Tigers scored seven straight points to make it a 55-46 game with 3:15 to play. Johnson had five of the Tigers' seven points during that spurt. That would be as close as the Tigers would get the rest of the way. Drexel scored five of the game's final seven points to claim the 62-48 victory.
The Tigers, who outscored their opponent in the second half for the third straight game, shot 32.5% from the field for the game. Towson shot 44.4% in the second stanza. The Tigers made 16-of-19 from the foul line in the second half and finished the game shooting a season-high 80%. Drexel shot 45.5% in the second half and 45.7% for the game. The Dragons shot 78.9% from the line for the game. Towson finished the game with a 31-27 advantage in the rebounding battle.
Johnson tied her season-high with five rebounds in addition to her 14 points. McTiller also had five rebounds while Peebles finished with 13 points and seven rebounds.
Mershon led all scorers with 19 points and six assists while Thierolf scored nine points.
Towson returns to action when it hosts nationally ranked Delaware on Thursday, Feb. 7 at 7 p.m.