VMI 80, Towson 78

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TOWSON, Md. (AP)—Chavis Holmes scored the tiebreaking basket on a layup in the lane with 1:14 remaining in regulation, and Virginia Military Institute won its fifth straight game Wednesday night, spoiling Gary Neal’s Towson debut with an 80-78 victory

Neal, the former La Salle star acquitted of rape charges in Philadelphia in November, scored 28 points, matching a school record with six 3-pointers. Towson (3-5) lost its third straight game.

Reggie Williams led the Keydets (5-4) with 27 points, while Matt Murrer added 16 points and 11 rebounds.

Holmes had 10 of his 15 points in the second half and his drive through traffic gave VMI a 73-71 lead with 1:14 to go. Towson’s Dennard Abraham missed the front end of a one-on-one with 1:02 left and Holmes canned two free throws with 51.5 left for a four-point lead.

Towson got within 75-73 on Abraham’s layup with 43.6 seconds remaining, but Williams hit two foul shots to restore the four-point cushion.

A 10-0 run capped by consecutive 3s from Neal put Towson ahead 51-42 with 14:06 left in the game. But Murrer scored VMI’s next six points. The Keydets tied the game at 59 on Holmes’ jumper with 7:06 remaining.

Neal hit his first five shots—four of them 3-pointers—and scored 14 first-half points. the four 3s came during a 16-2 run that helped the Tigers to an early 28-11 lead.

But VMI responded with a 13-4 run that whittled the margin to 32-26. Williams, who tallied 14 points in the first half, had six during the surge, then got the Keydets within 32-29 on a left-side 3 pointer with 1:01 remaining in the first half.

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Top Performers

 Top Performers
 Virginia Military
M. Murrer M. Murrer
6-11,  16 Pts
11 Rebs, 3 Assists
L. Hamm L. Hamm
8-10,  21 Pts
12 Rebs, 3 Assists

Team Stat Leaders