Towson 59, VCU 57
TOWSON, Md. (AP)—Dennard Abraham scored a career-high 27 points and Towson overcame the absence of leading scorer Gary Neal to surprise Virginia Commonwealth 59-57 on Wednesday night.
Tim Crossin had 13 points and eight assists for the Tigers (11-14, 7-9 Colonial Athletic Association), who won for the first time in 11 meetings against the Rams. Lawrence Hamm grabbed 10 rebounds.
Jesse Pellot-Rosa led VCU (16-8, 10-6) with 12 points. But the Rams, who have lost three of four, could not overcome a poor first half in which they shot 6-for-24 from the field and scored a season-low 18 points.
Neal, whose 27.1 points per game leads the Tigers, missed his second consecutive game with a sore left foot. His status for Towson’s next game, Feb. 23 at Georgia State, is unknown.
VCU used an 11-2 run midway through the second half to get within 45-43 on an uncontested layup by Eric Maynor. But the Tigers responded with a 10-3 surge to go up 55-46 with 2:29 left in regulation.
A 3-pointer by Nick George was followed by two steals and slams by Pellot-Rosa and Jamal Shuler as the Rams closed within a point with 1:04 remaining.
After two Crossin free throws put Towson ahead by three points with 18.2 seconds left, Pellot-Rosa’s right-wing 3 went in and bounced out with 9.8 seconds to go. Hamm’s two foul shots with 7.6 second left.
Abraham scored 14 first-half points and had two 3-pointers in a 16-2 run that helped the Tigers to a 32-18 halftime lead. The Rams hit only one shot from the field in the final 12:35.