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Towson Freshman Mabus Honored Again by CAA

Posted on 02 April 2012 by WNST Staff

Justin Mabus Named CAA Rookie of the Week for Second Straight Week

RICHMOND, Va. – Freshman midfielder Justin Mabus has been selected as the Colonial Athletic Association Men’s Lacrosse Rookie of the Week for the second time in as many weeks, it was announced by league officials on Monday.

Mabus, who leads the Tigers with nine assists this season, did his damage this week at No. 20 Hofstra by netting the biggest goal of his young career. The freshman capped off the largest fourth quarter comeback in the 53-year history of the program by scoring the game-winning goal with just 38 seconds remaining in double overtime.

Mabus’ goal gave the Tigers a dramatic 10-9 victory in a game they trailed 9-3 in the fourth quarter.

UMass’ Will Manny won Player of the Week honors after scoring eight goals and dishing out seven assists in a pair of victories for the second-ranked Minutemen.
Mabus and the Tigers will be seeking their fifth straight win on Wednesday, April 4 as they host crosstown rival UMBC at Johnny Unitas® Stadium at 7:30 p.m.

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Towson Debuts in Nike/Inside Lacrosse Media Poll

Posted on 02 April 2012 by WNST Staff

Towson Breaks Into Nike/Inside Lacrosse Media Poll
Tigers Ranked For First Time Since May 3, 2010

TOWSON, Md. – Riding a four-game winning streak and coming off the largest fourth quarter comeback in the 53-year history of the program, the Towson men’s lacrosse team has broken into the national rankings this week. The Tigers (6-3, 2-0 CAA) find themselves ranked No. 19 in this week’s Nike/Inside Lacrosse Media Poll.

It’s the first time Towson has been ranked since checking in at No. 20 in the May 3, 2010 poll.

The Tigers narrowly missed being ranked in the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA) poll as they are the top squad in the receiving vote’s category.

The Colonial Athletic Association boasts three schools in the Top 20 as Towson joins No. 2 Massachusetts and No. 16 Penn State in the rankings.

The Tigers host crosstown rival UMBC, which is receiving votes in the Inside Lacrosse poll, on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. Towson will then look to remain perfect in CAA play as they battle second-ranked UMass on the road on Saturday.

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Hopkins Takes Top Spot In Both Lacrosse Polls

Posted on 26 March 2012 by WNST Staff

BALTIMORE, MD – The Johns Hopkins men’s lacrosse team jumped to the top spot in both the USILA Coaches Poll and the Nike/Inside Lacrosse Media Poll today. The Blue Jays moved up from the number two spot in both polls after Saturday’s 11-10 win at top-ranked Virginia. Hopkins improved to 8-0 for the first time since 2005 with the win the win over the Cavaliers.

The Blue Jays grabbed 10-of-11 first-place votes in the USILA Coaches Poll and totaled 210 points to earn the number one spot. UMass (7-0) checks in at number two with 199 points, while Virginia (8-1/195 points), Loyola (8-0/189) and Cornell (6-1/187) round out the top five. Loyola grabbed the lone first-place vote that didn’t go to Johns Hopkins.

This the 390th weekly poll released by the USILA since the poll was first issued in 1973. This week’s number-one ranking marks the 104th time since the poll’s inception that the Blue Jays have earned the top spot. Johns Hopkins has been ranked in the top five 293 times and the top 10 in 367 of the 390 polls.

The Johns Hopkins office Athletic Communications uses the USILA Poll to reflect Johns Hopkins’ official national ranking.

Hopkins earned a unanimous number-one ranking in the Nike/Media Poll. The Blue Jays grabbed all 18 first-place votes and totaled 360 points to secure the top spot. Virginia (339 points), UMass (311), Cornell (310) and Loyola (292) round out the top five.

USILA Coaches Poll
• March 26, 2012 •
Rk. Team – Points
1. Johns Hopkins (10) – 218
2. UMass – 199
3. Virginia – 195
4. Loyola (1) – 189
5. Cornell – 187
6. Notre Dame – 165
7. Lehigh – 144
8. Duke – 137
9. Maryland – 125
10. Denver – 112
11. North Carolina – 111
12. Villanova – 106
13. Princeton – 95
14. Syracuse – 74
15. Fairfield – 62
16. Bucknell – 53
17. Colgate – 51
18. Penn State – 33
19. Georgetown – 12
20. Hofstra- 8

Others Receiving Votes: Bryant, Drexel, Yale, Navy, Harvard, Robert Morris, UMBC, TowsonNike/Inside Lacrosse Media Poll
• March 26, 2012 •
Rk. Team – Points
1. Johns Hopkins (18) – 360
2. Virginia – 339
3. UMass – 311
4. Cornell – 310
5. Loyola – 292
6. Notre Dame – 277
7. Lehigh – 223
8. Duke – 221
9. Maryland – 197
10. Denver – 194
11. Princeton – 190
12. North Carolina – 178
13. Villanova – 158
14. Syracuse – 146
15. Fairfield – 81
16. Bucknell – 79
17. Colgate – 65
18. Penn State – 60
19. Navy – 30
20. Georgetown – 20

Others Receiving Votes: Harvard, Hofstra, Bryant, Yale, Drexel, Robert Morris, St. John’s, Ohio State

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Navy Lacrosse Begins Rick Sowell Era Saturday Against VMI

Posted on 11 February 2012 by WNST Staff

2012 Navy Men’s Lacrosse Game Specifics
Game 1 Navy (0-0, 0-0 PL) vs. VMI (0-0)
Date and Faceoff Feb. 11, 2012 at 12:00 pm ET
Location Annapolis, Md. | Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium (34,000)
Television None
Video Streaming Navy All-Access
Radio None
Game Notes Navy | VMI
Live Stats GameTracker at www.NavySports.com

Game Preview
• Navy opens up its 105th season of men’s lacrosse on Saturday afternoon, when it plays host to VMI … action is set for 12:00 pm at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.
• Saturday’s game will be streamed online via Navy All-Access with live stats available at www.NavySports.com … this week’s All-Access feed will be provided free of charge, however, the remainder of the season will be subscription based.
• The Navy-VMI tilt is one of nine games slated for Saturday in what marks the second weekend of action among the Div. I ranks … Delaware and Detroit officially kicked off the 2012 campaign last Saturday in Newark where the Fightin’ Blue Hens topped Detroit, 19-6.
• Navy is one of five Patriot League teams in action this weekend … Army played host to UMass on Friday afternoon at 3:00 pm, while Delaware travels to Bucknell on Saturday at 1:00 pm, Bryant heads to Colgate on Saturday at 1:00 pm and Lehigh makes its way to Philly to play Saint Joseph’s on Saturday at 2:00 pm.
• Entering his 13th season as a collegiate head coach, Rick Sowell will officially open the chapter on his Navy coaching career on Saturday.  Sowell, who has been involved with rebuilding programs at Georgetown, Dartmouth, St. John’s and most recently Stony Brook, owns an 86-81 career record.
• Sowell compiled a 47-26 (.644) record in five seasons at Stony Brook and was named the America East Coach of the Year in each of the last two seasons as he guided the Seawolves to back-to-back America East regular-season titles (2010-11).
• Navy returns eight starters off last year’s team, including its entire starting attack line.  Sophomores Tucker Hull and Sam Jones led the charge a year ago, mirroring one another’s stats.  Both players scored a team-high 38 points on a team-best 23 goals and 15 assists.  Hull was rewarded for his play by being named the 2011 Patriot League Rookie of the Year and has been named a 2012 Inside Lacrosse Preseason All-American.  Senior co-captain Taylor Reynolds rounds out the starting attack and is coming off a 10-goal, two-assist season.
• Meanwhile, senior Nikk Davis anchors a midfield line that will blend both youth and veteran players.  Davis is entering his fourth season as a starter and is coming off 14-goal, 4-assist season.  He will be joined by junior Bryce Dabbs and sophomore Pat Durkin.  While Dabbs has been in the program, he did not play as a plebe and was ineligible last spring.  Durkin played among the Mids’ second midfield line a year ago, but will be asked to step up his play this spring as a starter.
• Senior Logan West returns as the Mids’ faceoff specialist after finishing the 2011 season ranked 29th nationally with his 52.1 winning percentage (110-211). He enters the season ranked sixth on Navy’s all-time career faceoff wins list with 175.
• Look for juniors Jay Mann and Jordan Seivold to play both ways this spring.  Mann, who was a starter on the offensive midfield a year ago and scored 11 goals, will be used primarily as a defensive midfielder, while Seivold will be used heavily on the offensive side of the field, but played mostly defensive midfield his first two seasons at the Academy.  The athleticism the two present give the Mids a better opportunity in the transition game.
• Navy will rely heavily upon veteran close defenseman Matt Vernam and senior goalkeeper RJ Wickham to manage the defense.  Vernam has been a starter since his freshman year, while Wickham, who was a Tewaaraton Trophy nominee in 2010, is in his third season as a starter in goal.  Additionally, second-year standout Pat Kiernan will fill the long pole position and has quickly emerged as one of the Mids’ most potent defensive weapons.  He produced 11 takeaways a year ago and picked up 35 ground balls.

Taking the Field In …
10 – Navy owns an 88-15-1 all-time record in season openers, including wins in each of its last 10 dating back to a 16-2 win over Saint Joseph’s in 2002 … the Mids have won each of their last four openers against the Keydets.
9 – Senior goalkeeper RJ Wickham needs 17 saves to move into ninth on the Mids’ all-time saves list … he has turned away 338 shots over his career and trails 1990 graduate Louis Brown who amassed 355 saves.
8 – Navy has held VMI to eight or fewer goals in each of his previous four meetings.
7 – Senior faceoff specialist Logan West needs seven wins on Saturday to take sole possession of fifth on Navy’s all-time career faceoff wins list … he has won 175 over three seasons.
6 – Navy will play six games at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in 2012 … the Mids own a 39-16 record (70.9) in games played on their home field since the start of the 2004 campaign, outscoring its foes, 587-392.
5 – Navy has lost just five games (46-5) when scoring 10 or more goals since the start of the 2004 campaign, including a pair last spring.
4 – Four of Navy’s 2012 opponents are ranked in the 2012 USILA Coaches Preseason Poll – Johns Hopkins (2), North Carolina (6), Maryland (7), Bucknell (12), while Army and Colgate are receiving votes.
3 – With a 750-308-14 record, Navy is the third-winningest program in Div. I men’s lax behind Johns Hopkins (912-294-15) and Syracuse (821-312-16).
2 – The attack duo of Tucker Hull and Sam Jones paced the Mids a year ago with 38 points on 23 goals and 15 assists.
1 – Over the last four seasons, 22 (9-13) of the Mids’ 60 contests have been decided by one goal.

Navy vs. VMI – The Series
• Meeting in each of the last four years’ season openers, Navy holds a 4-0 series advantage against VMI.
• The Midshipmen have scored double digits against the Keydets in each of the four previous meetings, while holding VMI to single digits in all four contests.
• VMI has held an advantage in the faceoff column in each of the last three meetings, including a slight 14-12 edge a year ago.
• Last year, Navy’s rookie class accounted for eight goals, including four by attackman Sam Jones, en route to capturing a 14-8 victory over the Keydets.  After giving up six goal in the first half, Navy’s defense surrendered just two second-half goals to the Keydets.
• In 2010, Eleventh-ranked Navy jumped out to a 7-0 lead and never looked back as the Mids claimed a 16-5 win over VMI at Rip Miller Field in what was both teams’ season opener.  A strong offensive display that featured goals by 11 different Midshipmen, helped Navy weather a rare pair of three-minute stick penalties.
• The Midshipmen outscored VMI 8-0 in the second half, surviving a first-half scare to earn a 13-5 victory over the Keydets at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in 2009.  Deadlocked at five apiece at the half, Navy peppered VMI with 30 second-half shots while its stifling defense gave the Keydets just five looks at the goal over the final 30 minutes.
• In the inaugural meeting in 2008, the Mids’ balanced offensive attack featured eight different players scoring 10 goals en route to a 10-2 win.

2011 Navy-VMI Recap
• Navy attackman Sam Jones made his debut in front of his hometown crowd a memorable one, scoring a team-high four goals to lead Navy to a 14-8 victory over VMI in both teams’ opener at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.
• Jones, however, wasn’t the only Navy rookie to have a successful collegiate opener.  Fellow starting attackman Tucker Hull scored one goal and dealt out assists on three others, while Ellicott City product Harrison Chaires turned in a goal and an assist and Austin Heneveld pumped an extra-man strike late in the third.  In sum, Navy’s rookie class accounted for 12 points with eight goals and four assists.
• The Mids also saw midfielder Nikk Davis score a pair of goals, while a relatively unknown Taylor Reynolds got the opportunity he’s long waited for at attack and capitalized.  Not only did Reynolds score his first-collegiate goal, he also produced his first-career hat trick in what was his first-career start.
• While Navy’s offense seemed to be a well-oiled machine, it seemed to take a quarter of play before the Mids were truly settled on both sides of the field.  In fact, after the first quarter of play, the game was locked up at 4-4 and two of Navy’s goals were scored on extra man.
• Navy, indeed, was the dominant team in the second stanza, outscoring the Keydets 6-2 to take a 10-6 at intermission.  It was during that quarter that Navy’s attack was nearly unstoppable, scoring all six goals.  Jones, in particular, was stellar, scoring three goals in the period, including a goal where he was falling down and was surrounded by three defensive players.
• The Mids cooled off in the second half, scoring just four goals, but the damage had been done.  Additionally, Navy’s defense held its ground and kept the Keydets off the scoreboard for roughly 15 minutes, giving up a goal at the 2:23 mark in the second and not again until 2:07 in the third.
• Defensively, Peter Rogers made his debut where he paced the Mids with four caused turnovers and grabbed three ground balls.  Pat Kiernan was also strong in his collegiate debut, pacing the Mids in ground balls with six and causing three turnovers.

Navy Vs. the MAAC
• The Mids are undefeated against the seven-member Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, producing a 6-0 record.
• Navy’s contest against VMI on Saturday marks the eighth-straight season the Mids have faced a team either currently in the MAAC or had previously been part of the MAAC at the time of the contest.
• In 2005, Navy faced Providence who is now a member of the newly-formed Big East, while in 2006 and `07 the Mids battled Saint Joseph’s who has moved to the Colonial Athletic Association.

For Openers
• Navy owns an 88-15-1 record in season openers, including wins in each of its last 10 dating back to a 16-2 win over Saint Joseph’s in 2002 … the Mids have outscored their foes 126-31 (12.6-3.1) during that stretch of 10 wins.
• For the fifth straight year and the sixth time in the last nine seasons, the Mids will open their season at home … the Mids played their 2004, `05 and `06 openers on the road.
• In 2007, Navy defeated Saint Joseph’s, 10-3, in Annapolis to kick off the season with an eight-game winning streak, while in `08, the Mids turned back VMI, 10-2, in what was the inaugural meeting between the two programs.  In 2009, Navy claimed a 13-5 win on Feb. 7 in what was then the earliest game played in Div. I history and in 2010, the Mids picked up a 16-5 win over VMI.  A year ago, the Mids used a six-goal second quarter to catapult ahead of the Keydets en route to a 14-8 victory.

The New Coaches on the Block
• Among the 61 Div. I men’s lacrosse teams that will take the field this season, 15 of them will have new head coaches.
• Of the 15 new coaches, five are coming from previous head coaching posts including Navy’s Rick Sowell who was the head coach at Stony Brook the previous five seasons.
• Three of the 15 new coaches are at schools who play in the Patriot League.  In addition to Sowell, former Army assistant coach Mike Murphy took over the coaching reigns from Jim Nagle at Colgate who ironically left to replace Sowell at Stony Brook.  After serving as the interim head coach for half of the 2011 campaign, Holy Cross kept Jim Morrisey on board as its permanent head coach, replacing Adam Pascal.

Debut
• Rick Sowell is the eighth different man to hold the title of head men’s lacrosse coach at Navy in its 105-year history.
• Five of the seven previous coaches won their debut game at the Academy, including each of the last five.
• The tandem of Frank Breyer and Bill Hudgins started the Navy lacrosse program in 1908 and lost to Johns Hopkins, 6-1, in the school’s first contest.

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Towson Tries To Snap Losing Streak Monday Night on WNST

Posted on 02 January 2012 by WNST Staff

GAME INFO: Towson (0-13) will take on Northeastern (4-7) at 7 p.m. on Monday at the Towson Center Arena. The game can be heard line on WNST-AM with Spiro Morekas and Vince Angotti calling the action.

BACK INTO CAA PLAY:
Towson returns to Colonial Athletic Association play tonight against Northeastern. The Tigers fell in an early season league game against George Mason, while Northeastern lost to Old Dominion in its only conference tilt.

HOME SWEET HOME: The Tigers have played six of their last eight games at home. After tonight, Towson heads on the road for a pair of league games at preseason favorite Drexel and two-time defending CAA Champion Old Dominion.

HANGING TOUGH: Towson’s seven-point loss at No. 23/24 Virginia on Friday was its second closest margin of defeat this season. The Tigers lost by just four at home against UMBC on Dec. 10.

TOUGHEST NON-CONFERENCE SCHEDULE IN THE CAA: Towson has played six teams either ranked or receiving votes in the national polls in its 13 games. According to the Pomeroy Ratings, the Tigers have played the toughest schedule in the CAA thus far. Towson has played teams from the ACC, Big 12, Big 10 and Pac-12 this season.

SHOOTING LIGHTS OUT: Senior Robert Nwankwo is shooting a remarkable 15-for-22 (68.2 percent) from the floor in his last three games. He is among the CAA’s leaders in scoring (11.9 ppg/19th), rebounding (8.5 rpg/4th), field goal percentage (47.7/7th) and blocks (2.2 bpg/3rd). Nwankwo has led Towson in rebounding in all but three games this season.

SCOUTING THE HUSKIES: Northeastern snapped a six-game losing streak with a 53-51 win at Vermont on Friday. Joel Smith connected on a runner from the right wing as timed expired to give the Huskies the dramatic victory. Three of Northeastern’s four wins this season have come on the road. Jonathan Lee leads Northeastern in both scoring (13.5 ppg) and assists (3.7 apg). The Huskies and Tigers have three common opponents thus far in the season. Northeastern fell and UMass and at LaSalle while winning at Vermont. Towson lost to La Salle and Vermont at home and dropped a road matchup against UMass.

LAST TIME OUT: Towson gave No. 23/24 Virginia all that it could handle in a narrow 57-50 defeat in front of 8,751 fans at John Paul Jones Arena Friday evening. The young Tigers led by as many as eight in the first half and the Cavaliers were never able to garner a double digit lead in the game. Freshman point guard Kris Walden played perhaps the best game of his young career, tallying a season-high 15 points on 6-for-13 shooting. Playing in his first collegiate game in his home state, Walden hit a season-high three from beyond the arc. Sophomore Marcus Damas had 10 of his 13 points in the second half to keep Towson within striking distance late. Towson held two-time Atlantic Coast Conference Player of the Week Mike Scott to just seven points. The Tigers shot an impressive 56.0 percent in the second half against Virginia, which is the second best team in the country in scoring defense. Towson had just four turnovers in the second half. Senior Robert Nwankwo made his presence felt on the defensive side of the floor, swatting a season-high five shots. The senior currently ranks third in the CAA in blocked shots. The Tigers also controlled the paint, outscoring Virginia 16-8 down low.

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Towson Visits Virginia Friday Night

Posted on 29 December 2011 by Glenn Clark

PLAYING THE BEST: Including Friday’s game, Towson has played six teams either ranked or receiving votes in the national polls in its 13 games. According to the Pomeroy Ratings, the Tigers have played the second toughest schedule in the CAA thus far. Towson has already played teams from the ACC, Big 12, Big 10 and Pac-12 this season.

LEAVING HOME: Friday’s game will be the first time the Tigers have had to travel away from the Towson/Baltimore area in exactly one month. Prior to playing five of six games at home, Towson played at UMass on Nov. 30. The only road game since then was a quick trip to Baltimore to take on Coppin State.

PLACE IN TIGER HISTORY: Senior Robert Nwankwo is quickly moving up the Towson career record books. Nwankwo is currently eighth all-time in Towson history with 588 career rebounds. He’s just six boards behind Steffan Bunsavage for seventh place. The senior forward has 170 career blocks, the third most all-time in Tiger basketball history. He trails just John James and Pat McKinley.

RELYING ON ROB: Senior Robert Nwankwo ranks in the Top 10 in the CAA in rebounding, blocks and field goal percentage. The forward is third in the CAA in 10+ rebound games (5) and his four double-doubles is fourth in the league. Nwankwo leads all CAA players with 4.4 offensive rebounds per game. The senior leads the team and is 16th in the league in scoring (12.3 ppg) and is first on the squad and fourth in the conference in blocks (1.9 bpg). Nwankwo registered consecutive double-double efforts against nationally-ranked Kansas and Michigan in the first two games of the season. With four double-doubles this season, Nwankwo has 13 in his career.

ON THE OFFENSIVE GLASS: The Tigers have grabbed 39.6 percent of their offensive misses, a mark that leads the CAA. Towson’s 168 offensive rebounds are second among league schools.

LAST TIME OUT: Vermont sophomore forward Luke Apfeld came off the bench to score a career-high 24 points in only 22 minutes of action as the Catamounts raced out to an early lead and didn’t look back in a 65-49 non-conference win over Towson University in the Towson Center Arena last Friday. Towson committed a season-low 10 turnovers in the game. The prior season-low was 13 turnovers against George Mason on Dec. 3. The Tigers also grabbed 30 or more rebounds for the fifth straight game. Freshman Deon Jones paced the Towson attack with 11 points on four of eight shooting for his fourth double digit scoring game of the season. Freshman Alex Giergen tallied a season-high eight points and did not miss a shot from the field, including two three-point field goals.

SCOUTING THE CAVALIERS: Virginia has won nine straight games and is currently ranked in both major national Top 25 polls. Virginia’s win streak is the longest for the Cavaliers since 2001-02 and UVa is 11-1 for the first time since the 2000-01 season. The Cavaliers are a perfect 7-0 at home this season, winning by an average of 25.1 points per game. Mike Scott leads Virginia in both scoring (17.1 ppg) and rebounding (9.6 rpg). Scott has won back-to-back ACC Player of the Week honors.

COMMON OPPONENTS: The Cavaliers and Tigers have two common opponents thus far in the season. Virginia defeated George Mason and Michigan at home, while Towson fell on the road against the Wolverines and lost at home to the Patriots. Virginia is 2-0 verse teams from the CAA this season. The Cavaliers picked up wins against Drexel (49-35) and George Mason (68-48).

 

-TowsonTigers.com-

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CAA Showdown Saturday Night on WNST as Towson Hosts George Mason

Posted on 03 December 2011 by WNST Staff

Tigers Open CAA Play Against George Mason Saturday

Towson Men’s Basketball To Face Fifth Team Ranked Or Receiving Votes In National Polls

TOWSON, Md. - The Tigers are set to open Colonial Athletic Association play Saturday evening against rival George Mason. Tip time is set for 7:30 p.m. at the Towson Center and all fans attending the NCAA FCS Football Playoff game at Johnny Unitas® Stadium can attend the Tigers’ men’s basketball game free of charge.

Saturday night’s game can be heard live on AM1570 WNST.net. Coverage begins immediately following the conclusion of the Towson-Lehigh NCAA FCS Playoff game and can be heard here.

Towson (0-6) is coming off an 86-56 setback at UMass on Wednesday evening. Senior Robert Nwankwo posted his third double-double of the season with 19 points and 14 rebounds against the Minutemen.

The Tigers continued to dominate the glass in their last outing, holding a 50-43 rebounding advantage in the loss. Towson has now outrebounded its opponents in all but two games this season.

Including Saturday’s contest, the young Tigers quad will have played five teams ranked or receiving votes in the national polls.

George Mason, which is receiving votes in the latest ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll, is riding a three-game winning streak and coming off a 61-57 victory over Bucknell. The Patriots are led by Preseason All-CAA First Team honoree Ryan Pearson. The senior ranked in the top-15 of both scoring and rebounding among league players last season, and is the conference’s fifth highest returning scorer. This season Pearson is averaging 20.6 points and 8.6 rebounds per game.

Saturday’s game will be the 38th all-time meeting between Towson and George Mason. The Tigers won six of the first nine meetings between the squads, but have won just two of the last 28. George Mason has never lost to Towson as a member of the Colonial Athletic Association. Their last loss to the Tigers was a 78-71 defeat in Towson in 1993.

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Towson Hosts Lehigh Saturday in First Ever NCAA FCS Playoff Game on WNST

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Towson Hosts Lehigh Saturday in First Ever NCAA FCS Playoff Game on WNST

Posted on 02 December 2011 by WNST Staff

TOWSON, Md. - Making their NCAA FCS Playoff debut, Coach Rob Ambrose and the Colonial Athletic Association champion Tigers (9-2) will host Patriot League champion Lehigh University (10-1) on Saturday, Dec. 3 at Minnegan Field at Johnny Unitas® Stadium.

Towson and Lehigh are two of the 20 teams that were selected to play in the NCAA FCS Championship. They are two of 12 teams that earned first round byes.

Sam Houston State (11-0) is the top seed while North Dakota State (10-1) is the number two seed. Georgia Southern (9-2) is seeded third, ahead of Montana (9-2) and Northern Iowa (9-2).

The Tigers are one of five CAA teams that earned spots in the NCAA FCS playoffs. Old Dominion (9-2), Maine (8-3), New Hampshire (8-3) and James Madison (7-4) were also selected.

The Tigers, who edged Rhode Island in their final regular season contest to win their first CAA championship, are the first team in NCAA history to qualify for the NCAA Playoffs at the Division III, Division II and NCAA FCS level. In 1976, the Tigers qualified for the NCAA Division III playoffs and reached the Stagg Bowl, the Division III championship game. After a 14-10 victory over C.W. Post in the quarter-finals and a 38-36 semi-final win over St. Lawrence, the Tigers lost to Saint John’s (Minn.) in the championship game, 31-28.

From 1983 to 1986, the Tigers qualified for the NCAA Division II playoffs three times.  In 1983, they lost to North Dakota State, 24-17. In 1984, the Tigers beat Norfolk State in the quarter-finals, 31-21. Then, they lost to Troy State in the semi-finals, 45-3. In their final season as an NCAA Division II program, the Tigers fell to Central State (Ohio) in the quarter-finals, 31-0. The Tigers have an all-time record of 3-4 in NCAA playoff games.

The most improved team in NCAA FCS this season, the Tigers have engineered a historic turnaround. After winning only one game in 2010, the Tigers have improved by eight games and will take a 9-2 record into the NCAA Playoffs. Picked to finish last in the CAA’s pre-season poll, the Tigers won the CAA with a 7-1 mark. Coming into the season, the Tigers had lost 26 of their last 28 CAA games.

The Tigers are just the second team in CAA history to go from “worst to first.” In 1998, James Madison finished last in the league with a 3-8 overall record and a 2-6 league record. One year later, JMU posted an 8-4 overall record and a 7-1 conference mark. The Dukes shared the conference championship with UMass in 1999. In 1997 and 1998, Massachusetts went from 2-9 to 12-3. But UMass didn’t win the CAA in 1998.

“It is tremendously humbling for me to be a part of this,” says the Tigers’ third-year coach. “This is the result of some incredibly hard work by everyone involved – the coaches, the staff, our players, our administration, the students and our fans. This is something that our football alumni have been waiting for.”

The Tigers entered the final weekend of the regular season tied for first place in the CAA with Maine. After their 28-17 win, the Tigers clinched the CAA title outright when New Hampshire edged Maine, 30-27.

Ranked among the Top 25 teams in NCAA FCS for the last eight weeks, the Tigers won the CAA by beating six nationally-ranked conference opponents. After opening the CAA schedule with a 31-10 victory over No. 20 Villanova, the Tigers edged No. 14 Richmond, 31-28. A dramatic 39-35 come-from-behind win over No. 18 Old Dominion enabled the Tigers to improve to 3-0 in the CAA. The Tigers’ 38-27 victory over No. 14 William and Mary gave them a 4-0 CAA record.

After a 35-30 loss to No. 21 Delaware, the Tigers bounced back with wins over No. 7 Maine (40-30) and No. 7 New Hampshire (56-42). They completed their march to the title with their 28-17 win at Rhode Island.

The Tigers have been led by an explosive offense. The Tigers are averaging 239.45 rushing yards per game, the top mark in the CAA. They are ranked ninth in the nation in rushing. Offensively, the Tigers are scoring 34.55 points per game. They are second in the CAA and rank 14th in the NCAA FCS. The Tigers are also second in the CAA with 439.36 yards of total offense per game, the 11th best mark in the nation.

Freshman Terrance West leads the Tigers’ running game. He has rushed for 1,242 yards on 183 carries, second in the CAA. Averaging 124.20 yards per game, he ranks tenth in NCAA FCS. A leading candidate for the Jerry Rice Award, presented to the top freshman in NCAA FCS Football, West has scored 27 touchdowns. His school record 27 touchdowns lead NCAA FCS. West, who had a career high 261-yard performance against New Hampshire, has rushed for more than 100 yards in six of his last seven games. He has scored at least two touchdowns in each of the Tigers’ last seven games.

Named as the CAA Offensive Player of the Week twice this season, West has also been selected as the CAA Rookie of the Week four times.

The play of the Tigers’ offensive line has been vital to the team’s success. Senior tackle Henry Glackin has teamed up with sophomores Eric Pike, Charles Johnson, Randall Harris, Anthony Davis and Doug Shaw to provide the Tigers with outstanding line play.

Sophomore quarterback Grant Enders has excelled as the leader of the Tiger offense all season. Named as the Colonial Athletic Association Offensive Player of the Week twice this season, Enders has completed 153 of 224 passes for 1,867 yards and 14 touchdowns. With a 151.8 passing efficiency rating, he is second in the CAA and ranks 11th in NCAA FCS. Averaging 224.6 yards of total offense per game, Enders ranks fourth in the CAA.

Turnover ratio has also been vital to the Tigers’ success this season. During the regular season, the Tigers have compiled a plus-eight turnover ratio, a mark that is third in the CAA behind Old Dominion (plus-ten) and Maine (plus-nine). The Tigers have turned the ball over 16 times while forcing 24 turnovers. The Tigers have thrown ten interceptions and only lost six fumbles. The Tigers have recovered 11 fumbles and intercepted 13 passes.

A pair of linebackers, junior Alexander DiSanzo and freshman Kenton Powell, are tied for the team lead with three interceptions. This is noteworthy because the Tigers only intercepted two passes in the 2010 season. DiSanzo is fourth on the team with 64 tackles while Powell has 54 tackles and is sixth on the team. Junior safety Jordan Dangerfieldsenior safety Nick Oates and freshman cornerback Tye Smith each have two interceptions.

Dangerfield leads the Tiger defense with 82 tackles in nine games. He is eighth in the CAA with 9.1 tackles per game. Junior linebacker Danzel White issecond on the team with 77 tackles in nine games.

Junior defensive ends Frank Beltre and Romale Tucker have given the Tigers outstanding play on the line. While Tucker leads all CAA defensive linemen with 69 tackles in 11 games, Beltre is fourth with 63 tackles. A member of the Pre-Season All-CAA team, Beltre leads the Tigers with 11 tackles for lost yardage. He is also the team leader with four quarterback sacks. Tucker has made 3.5 sacks and is tied for the team lead with two fumble recoveries.

Tickets for the Tigers’ NCAA FCS playoff game against Lehigh are currently on sale by calling 1-855-TUTIGER (888-4437).

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Hopkins Lacrosse Picked 4th in Inside Lacrosse Preseason Poll

Posted on 01 December 2011 by WNST Staff

BALTIMORE, MD – The Johns Hopkins men’s lacrosse team is ranked fourth in the 2012 Inside Lacrosse Face-Off Yearbook Preseason Poll it was announced today. The Blue Jays return nine starters from last season’s team, which posted a 13-3 record and advanced to the NCAA Quarterfinals.

Defending national champion Virginia tops the poll, which counts Duke, Cornell, Johns Hopkins and Denver among the top five as well. Johns Hopkins will play four of the top eight teams in the poll during the 2012 regular season as the Blue Jays will take on top-ranked Virginia, sixth-ranked North Carolina, seventh-ranked Syracuse and eighth-ranked Maryland.

Head coach Dave Pietramala will return four All-Americans among his nine returning starters as midfielder John Ranagan (1st Team), defenseman Tucker Durkin (2nd), goalie Pierce Bassett (2nd) and attackman Chris Boland (honorable mention) are all back. Amazingly, of the nine returning starters, only one, Boland, will be in his final year of eligibility in 2012.

The Blue Jays will return their top two scorers in Boland (34g, 20a) and junior attackman Zach Palmer (22g, 25a) and every other player on the team who registered five or more goals and 10 or more points last season. In addition, Durkin and Bassett will lead a defense that returns also Chris Lightner and Jack Reilly, who joined Durkin as 16-game starters on close defense last season.

Johns Hopkins will open the 2012 season on Friday, February 17 when Towson visits Homewood Field. Johns Hopkins’ complete 2012 schedule will be announced no later than Friday, December 9, 2011.

2012 Face-Off Yearbook Preseason Poll
Rk. Team
1. Virginia
2. Duke
3. Cornell
4. Johns Hopkins
5. Denver
6. North Carolina
7. Syracuse
8. Maryland
9. Notre Dame
10. Villanova
11. Hofstra
12. UMass
13. Yale
14. Penn
15. Bucknell
16. Princeton
17. Drexel
18. Colgate
19. Harvard
20. Penn State

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Towson Visits UMass Wednesday Night on WNST

Posted on 30 November 2011 by WNST Staff

Tigers Return To The Road Wednesday At UMass

Towson To Play Fifth Game Away From Home Out Of Six To Begin The Season

 AMHERST, Mass. - After playing its first home game of the season on Saturday, the Towson men’s basketball team returns to the road just four days later to take on the University of Massachusetts. The non-conference contest is set to tip at 7 p.m. from the Mullins Center in Amherst, Mass.

All of the action can be heard on WNST.net-AM 1570 with Spiro Morekas and Vince Angotti on the call.

Towson, which has played the ninth toughest non-conference schedule in the country thus far, is coming off a 66-46 setback against Oregon State Saturday. A bright spot for the Tigers was the play of sophomore forward Marcus Damas who registered his first career double-double with 18 points and 10 rebounds against the Beavers.

UMass (5-2), which started the year 4-0, is coming off an 85-61 defeat against the College of Charleston in the Battle 4 Atlantis Tournament in the Bahamas.

Chaz Williams leads the Minutemen in scoring at 14.1 points per game while Terrell Vinson leads the way on the glass averaging 6.0 rebounds a contest.

The squads have not met since UMass handed Towson an 82-55 loss in the 1993 Preseason NIT. That contest was the first ever college basketball game televised on ESPN2.

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