Towson Basketball Looks for Crucial Victory in Charleston

Towson heads down to their southern-most conference foe in the College of Charleston for a key matchup of top CAA teams. This is a rematch of a 76-74 overtime win for the Cougars back on New Year’s Eve. To say that Towson needs this game is the understatement of the season.

Towson is locked into either the 3 or 4 seed for the CAA tournament thanks to having a game in hand and two more wins than Drexel. However, this is where all of the preseason hype and buzz has to manifest into real play on the court. Charleston is tied with Hofstra for the conference lead after a small drop off from their red-hot start to the season. Towson split the season series with Hofstra, showing the ability to beat a top conference opponent. Beating Charleston would give them the confidence that they can do the same again if they have a rubber match next week in DC.

This is also the kind of game that can set them up for either success or failure in their last regular season game against UNC-Wilmington, the current 3-seed in the CAA. Towson hasn’t played the Seahawks this season, which means they could use all the momentum they could get coming into the second of back-to-back road games. ESPN currently gives Towson a 15% chance of beating Charleston, which is incredibly disrespectful for the pre-season conference favorites. I know that Jason Gibson is done for the year, but he has been out long enough that the excuse of his injury is long out the window.

Here are some quick numbers and trends leading into the game before I get into how Towson needs to win:

  • Charleston is favored by 9 at the time of my writing this
  • Towson is 14-15 against the spread while Charleston is 16-12
  • Charleston has won 3 of the last 5, but haven’t covered the spread as a favorite since February of 2021
  • Towson has won 3 of their last 5 games, while the Cougars have won 5 straight

So how do the Tigers win this game? First and foremost, Nick Timberlake needs to be Nick Timberlake. He needs touches and he needs buckets. He has become the team’s go-to scorer and if he has an off night they will struggle mightily.

Second, Charles Thompson needs to own the boards and stay out of foul trouble. Charleston is 22nd in the country in defensive rebounds while Towson is 7th in offensive boards. That statistical matchup alone could be the deciding factor.

It would be easy to jump to Cam Holden at this point, but I think I’m going to use two other guys who could be potential X-factors here. I’ll be the first to admit I hated watching Christian May early on in the season because he seemed lost and a total liability to the team. However, he has matured into a stout defender and a legitimate 3 point option, something the Tigers don’t have much of. If he, along with his other freshman running mate Ryan Conway, can help stretch the floor, Towson may just be able to pull this off.

I haven’t written much about Towson the last few week because the Drexel and William & Mary games absolutely crushed my optimism. That said, beating Delaware is ALWAYS a good feeling, and a solid win over NC A&T have me ready to get hurt again. I want… no I NEED to see a win here. I’ll see everyone at CVP to celebrate once I get out of my grad class!

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