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).