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Towson looks for first ever FCS championship Saturday in Frisco

Posted on 03 January 2014 by WNST Staff


Tigers Seek To End Bison’s 23-Game Winning Streak

FRISCO, Tex. – Seeking their first national championship, Coach Rob Ambrose and the No. 5 Towson University football team will try to complete their magical playoff run when the Tigers face two-time defending national champion North Dakota State in the NCAA FCS championship game at Toyota Field on Saturday, January 4 at 2:00 p.m. (EST).

The game will be televised nationally on ESPN2 with Anish Shroff and Kelly Stouffer calling the action.

The Tigers, who are 13-2 on the season, will be trying to end the Bison’s 23-game winning streak. The Tigers, who have won 16 of their last 18 games, earned a berth in the championship game with NCAA FCS playoff wins over No. 9 Fordham, No. 2 Eastern Illinois and No. 3 Eastern Washington.

Although this is not technically a road game, the Tigers have been an outstanding road team. Towson has a 9-0 record on the road this season, the best mark in college football. Northern Illinois has the second-best record with a 7-0 road mark.

In fact, Towson has won 12 consecutive road games dating back to last season.

The Tigers’ road to the NCAA FCS championship game has included victories at Eastern Illinois and Eastern Washington, two of the top three teams in the nation. The Tigers have won their last five games in a row. Dating back to last season, the Tigers have won 16 of 18 games.

North Dakota State, now 14-0 on the year, has the top defense in FCS football and presents the toughest opponent that Towson has played since the Tigers visited Louisiana State in September, 2012.

“North Dakota State is perfect,” says Coach Ambrose. “It’s not just their record. Their program is perfect. Looking for holes on their offense or defense or special teams, they don’t have them. The 11 players they put on the field are as good, if not better at their positions, than anybody else in the country.

“There’s a reason that they’re undefeated and have not lost a game in no-one-knows-how-long. They have resources, they have a following, and they are consistent. They are the Ivan Drago of I-AA football. They are perfect.”

Ambrose’s reference to Ivan Drago refers to a boxer in the movie “Rocky IV.” Played by actor Dolph Lundgren,“Drago” was the behemoth from the Soviet Union who compiled a 100-1-0 record as an amateur, boasted a punching power that was three times as devastating as the average boxer’s, and was trained as the top physical specimen in his sport.

The Tigers are led by All-American running back Terrance West (Northeast H.S./Baltimore, Md.), who has set NCAA FCS single season records with 2,410 rushing yards and 41 touchdowns. In the Tigers’ 49-39 quarter-final win over Eastern Illinois, West scored five touchdowns and ran for an NCAA FCS playoff record with 354 rushing yards.

West runs behind an impressive offensive line that is led by senior tackle Eric Pike (DuVal H.S./Lanham, Md.). A four-year starter at left tackle, the 6-5, 298-pound Pike will be starting his 50th career game when the Tigers face North Dakota State. Senior tackle Randall Harris (DuVal H.S./Landover, Md.), senior guard Anthony Davis(Clover Hill H.S./Richmond, Va.) and senior center Doug Shaw (Loyola Blakefield H.S./Woodbine, Md.) lead a rushing offense that averages just under 250 yards per game and has scored 54 rushing touchdowns.

The Tigers’ running game will be tested by a North Dakota State defense that leads the nation by allowing only 11.6 points per game and 90.2 rushing yards per contest. The Bison are ranked second in NCAA FCS, allowing 247.5 yards of total offense per game.

Senior quarterback Peter Athens (Huntingtown H.S./Huntingtown, Md.) has played very well in the post-season. In three NCAA FCS playoff games, he has completed 29 of 37 passes for 560 yards and five touchdowns with no interceptions. He has an amazing passer rating of 250.11 in the post-season. Athens, who left the Eastern Washington game with an injury, has completed 228 of 353 passes for 3,198 yards and 19 touchdowns this season.

Senior linebacker Telvion Clark (Granby H.S./Norfolk, Va.) leads the Tigers with 139 tackles, a mark that places him fourth in the Colonial Athletic Association. Clark has forced five fumbles and has three fumble recoveries.

During their post-season run, the Tigers have outscored their opponents by a 132-98 margin while North Dakota State has a 138-35 advantage in its three playoff games.

TIGER TALES:  This is the second time that Towson and North Dakota State have met in an NCAA post-season game … In 1983, the Tigers dropped a 24-17 decision to the Bison in the quarter-finals of the NCAA Division II playoffs … The Bison went on to win the national championship.

Towson is the sixth different CAA team to reach the NCAA FCS championship game … Delaware has reached the finals four times and has a 1-3 record … Former CAA member Massachusetts reached the championship game three times and won the 1998 title … James Madison (2004), Richmond (2008) and Villanova (2009) won the national championship in their only appearance in the finals.

Both Towson and NDSU opened their seasons with wins over NCAA FBS teams … The Tigers beat Connecticut while the Bison beat Kansas State.

Towson has already shattered the school record for wins in a single season … Until Towson won 13 games this year, no Towson team had ever won more than 10 games.

In his fifth season as the Tigers’ coach, Ambrose has a winning record as the Towson coach … He enters the NCAA FCS championship game with a 32-28 record as the Tigers’ coach … However, he was 3-19 after two seasons … Over the last three years, he is 29-9.

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Towson aims to right ship Saturday night at North Dakota State

Posted on 20 December 2013 by WNST Staff

Game can be seen on ESPN3


FARGO, N.D. — The Towson men’s basketball team will wrap up its trip out west when the Tigers take on North Dakota State on Saturday in a game that can be seen on ESPN3 at 8 p.m. EST.

Brian Shawn and Jamal Spencer will be on the television call. Fans can also listen to the game on the Towson Sports Network (TSN) with Zach Maskavich calling the action.

Towson (7-5) is still seeking its first win away from home as the Tigers are coming off a 76-67 setback at Pac-12 foe Oregon State on Wednesday. Senior Mike Burwell scored a career-high 20 points to pace the Tigers against the Beavers.

North Dakota State (8-4), has won six of its last seven games, including a 73-69 win at Notre Dame on December 11. The Bison also defeated Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) foe Delaware, 85-66, on Monday. Taylor Braun paces North Dakota State averaging 18.0 points per game.

Saturday’s game will be the second meeting between North Dakota State and Towson, after the Bison earned a 65-48 victory at the Towson Center last year.

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Towson moves to #2 in FCS Coaches’ poll

Posted on 23 September 2013 by WNST Staff

SPARTANBURG, S.C. – North Dakota State received all 26 first-place votes for the third consecutive week to remain the unanimous No.1 in the FCS Coaches’ poll, while Towson jumped into second place in the rankings after moving to 4-0 on Saturday.

The Bison welcomed ESPN’s College Gameday to Fargo, N.D., on Saturday and proved to be a worthy host, dropping Delaware State 51-0 to move to 3-0 in 2013. Towson also remained undefeated following a 35-17 victory against North Carolina Central. The Tigers earned 616 points to take the No. 2 spot in the poll.

Eastern Washington (598) moved into third coming off its bye week, and Sam Houston State (573) and Northern Iowa (531) sit at No. 4 and No. 5, respectively, following wins during the weekend. South Dakota State notched 465 points to settle into sixth, with New Hampshire and Montana sharing this week’s No. 7 ranking after each team received 460 points.

McNeese State (409) enters the top 10 at No. 9, jumping four spots from No. 13 last week. Last week’s No. 2, Montana State (402), dropped eight spots to 10th after a 52-38 loss to Stephen F. Austin.

Coastal Carolina moved to No. 11 with 372 points, with Eastern Illinois (354), Central Arkansas (326), James Madison (283) and Wofford (278) rounding out the top 15.

Fordham (217) jumped five spots to No. 16 after moving to 4-0 on Saturday. Lehigh is No. 17 with 214 points, followed by Bethune-Cookman (179) and Cal Poly (169). Richmond stayed put at No. 20, receiving 156 points this week.

Villanova sits at No. 21 with 155 points and Northern Arizona remained at No. 22 after notching 117 points. Stony Brook (107), Illinois State (80) and Youngstown State (47) finish out the rankings.

Maine dropped from the poll after being ranked No. 25 last week.


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Towson maintains #4 ranking in FCS poll

Posted on 16 September 2013 by WNST Staff


Tigers Own Second-Longest Winning Streak in FCS Football

PHILADELPHIA, Pa. – For the second week in a row, the undefeated Towson University football team is ranked fourth in NCAA FCS football, according to the weekly poll which was announced by The Sports Network.

The Tigers’ number four national ranking continues to be the highest national ranking at the FCS level that they’ve ever received.

Towson was ranked 11th in the pre-season and moved up to fifth after a season-opening win at Connecticut. Back-to-back victories over Holy Cross and Delaware State enabled the Tigers to move up to fourth, ahead of Sam Houston State.

Their 49-7 victory over Delaware State extended the Tigers’ winning streak to seven games in a row. Towson closed out the 2012 season with four straight wins and has won their first three games in 2013.

Defending national champion North Dakota State (2-0) received 154 of a possible 156 first place votes to remain first in the nation. Eastern Washington (2-1) got the other two first place votes and is ranked second. Montana State (2-1) 1s ranked third, some 48 points ahead of Towson. Sam Houston State (2-1) is fifth, nearly 200 points behind the Tigers.

The Tigers, who have outscored their opponents by a 131-32 margin through three games, are sixth in the nation in scoring offense, averaging 43.7 points per game.

However, the Tiger defense is ranked near the top of FCS in all of the major categories. The Tigers are allowing 10.7 points per game, third in the nation behind Idaho State (8.3) and Bethune-Cookman.

The Towson defense leads FCS in red-zone defense (.333) and the Tigers are fifth in the nation in rushing defense, allowing 71.0 yards per game. The Tigers are also sixth in total defense, giving up 267.3 yards per contest.

Towson is one of six Colonial Athletic Association teams ranked in the FCS Top 25. New Hampshire (1-1) is ranked 11th while Stony Brook (1-1) is 16th nationally. James Madison (2-1) is 17th this week while Villanova (0-2) is 20th. Richmond (1-2) fell to 23rd in the nation after losing to Gardner-Webb.

The Tigers, who have the program’s longest winning streak since 1984, will be seeking their eighth win in a row when they visit North Carolina Central on Saturday, September 21 at 2:00 p.m.

2013 FCS FOOTBALL RANKINGS – The Sports Network

1.       North Dakota State (154)                                2-0                3,898                   1

2.      Eastern Washington (2)                                   2-1                 3,462                   2

3.      Montana State                                                2-1                 3,460                   3

4.      Towson University                                          3-0                3,412                   4

5.      Sam Houston State                                         2-1                 3,235                   5

6.      South Dakota State                                         3-0                3,054                  6

7.      Northern Iowa                                                2-0                3,004                  7

8.      Eastern Illinois                                               3-0                2,778                   9

9.      Montana                                                         2-0                2,450                  11

10.     Wofford                                                          2-1                 2,365                   16

11.      New Hampshire                                              1-1                  2,273                   12

12.     McNeese State                                               3-0                2,134                   13

13.     Central Arkansas                                            1-2                 1,496                    8

14.     Georgia Southern                                            2-1                 1,420                   10

15.     Coastal Carolina                                             3-0                1,274                   21

16.     Stony Brook                                                   1-1                  1,201                    17

17.     James Madison                                               2-1                 1,186                    20

18.     Cal Poly                                                         1-2                 1,165                    14

19.     Bethune-Cookman                                          3-0                1,053                   23

20.    Villanova                                                       0-2                767                     19

21.     Fordham                                                        3-0                733                     NR

22.    Lehigh                                                           2-0                677                     22

23.    Richmond                                                       1-2                 653                     15

24.    Tennessee-Martin                                           2-1                 561                     NR

25.    Northern Arizona                                            1-1                  556                    25

Others receiving votes: Illinois State 493, Youngstown State 370, Samford 281, Maine 255, William & Mary 155, North Carolina A&T 118, Southern Utah 114, Delaware 113, Jacksonville State 111, Gardner-Webb 100, Chattanooga 85, Eastern Kentucky 29, Appalachian State 28, Southeastern Louisiana 24, Liberty 24, South Carolina State 22, Penn 21, South Dakota 19, Tennessee State 18, Harvard 18, Southern Illinois 10, Western Illinois 10, Murray State 5, Indiana State 4, Tennessee Tech 3, Northwestern State 2, Sacred Heart 1.

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Towson welcomes North Dakota State for home opener Saturday

Posted on 14 December 2012 by WNST Staff

Tigers Welcome Bison For Home Opener After 10-Game Road Swing

TOWSON, Md. – After a tough 10-game road swing to start the season, the Towson men’s basketball team returns home to take on North Dakota State on Saturday at 7 p.m.

The game can be heard live through the Towson Sports Network with Spiro Morekas and Vince Angotti calling the action.

Towson (4-6) has dropped back-to-back games to No. 15 Georgetown and Temple after topping Vermont on December 5.

Junior forward Jerrelle Benimon registered career-highs in both points (30) and rebounds (18) in the 11-point loss at Temple on Wednesday. Benimon currently ranks Top 5 in the Colonial Athletic Association in scoring (17.1 ppg), rebounding (11.3 rpg), field goal percentage (55.0) and blocked shots (1.5 bpg).

Junior Marcus Damas posted his third double-digit scoring game of the season on Wednesday, netting 11 points to go along with six rebounds and a career-high three steals against the Owls.

North Dakota State (8-3) has won seven of its last nine games since falling to No. 1 Indiana, 87-61, on November 12. Junior guard Taylor Braun leads the team with 15.8 points and 6.1 rebounds per game.

The Bison average 71.4 points per game while only giving up 58.6 points per contest. NDSU defeated CAA foe James Madison, 66-44, on November 21 and are coming off a 70-57 loss at Minnesota on Tuesday.

The Tigers have won five of their last six home openers and are 12-2 in home openers over the last 14 years.

Towson and North Dakota State have never met in men’s basketball. In fact, the only sport the schools have ever competed in is football (1983 Division II playoffs).

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