The last time we saw the Towson Tigers (10-2) was when they were getting beat badly by Oakland and they can partially blame an early run in that one. Well tonight against the Pittsburgh Panthers(7-5), the Tigers were making that run. The Tigers lost 63 to 59 against the Panthers.
The Tigers started the game on a 15-6 run that lasted through the second media timeout. Defense played a big part on the run and Mike Morsell lead with 5 points.
But the Panthers showed resilience as they went on an 8-1 run of their own to bring the score within 2. Both teams were able to go on an additional small run each before the half ended, but this was a defensive struggle all the way throughout. Towson used its press defense to force 2 steals on back to back possessions near the end of the half.
The Tigers lead at halftime by 3, 27-24. Mike Morsell and Eddie Keith both had 7 in the first half. The Panthers struggled from deep in the half, going 1 for 16. Both teams field goal percentages were under 40%.
But the Panthers battled back at the start of the second half with 4 of 7 shooting and 2 three pointers before the first media time out. The Panthers defense picked up and they started taking more quality shots in the half.
With Pitt up 38-34, Morsell buried a tough shot for two. Then Pitt’s Jared Wilson-Frame was called for a technical foul with 12:56 to go. After the two free throws, the Tigers forced a 10-second violation and Zane Martin scored on a shot where he was fouled for the and-one. Zane Martin came down and hit a three pointer before a Pitt timeout.
Turnovers helped the Tigers get out to a 9 point lead in the middle of the second half. The Panthers eventually started battling back with some tough shots. Eddie Keith’s fourth foul of the game brought the lead within 3 points at 55-52, but Towson immediately scored on its next possession.
Then Pitt’s Khameron Davis hit a jumper from the left wing for three and a foul on Alex Thomas and after the free throw, the score was 57-56 Tigers.
Zane Martin sized up the defender and hit a two pointer that was reviewed with 2:45 to go. Pitt then drived down the court and hit a three pointer to tie the game up at 59. Zane Martin was fouled on a later possession, but failed to make a free throw. Marcus Carr then dribbled into the paint and passed it to Johnathan Milligan for the lay up and the lead, 61-59. Towson was able to get a shot off that missed on the next possession and failed to get the offensive rebound as it went out of bounds.
After a Pitt timeout, Pitt inbounded the ball over the heads of the intended player and Towson picked up another steal with 27.4 seconds left. Zane Martin missed a three pointer to take the lead, but the Tigers grabbed the rebound. Starr was called for an offensive foul as he lunges forward to cross over a Pitt defender and the Tigers were forced to play the foul game. The Panthers were able to make one free throw, but Towson failed to make a three on their final real possession of the game to tie it up.
The Pittsburgh Panthers won 63-59 to give the Tigers their second straight loss. The Tigers couldn’t score in the last 2:49 and the Panthers scored 7 down the stretch. Zane Martin struggled in the first half, but lead the way with 20 points. Mike Morsell had 11 points. All but one Tiger scored, but no one else topped 10 points. The Tigers couldn’t capitalize off of the great defense as they forced 19 turnovers. For Pitt, Stewart had 13 points, Brown had 12 and Wilson-Frame had 10.
Next up for the Tigers is a trip to the College of Charleston as they start their CAA season.