Towson takes on New Mexico in the consolation game of the Las Vegas Invitational at 9pmET. The Lobos fell to UAB 86-73 on Thursday, while Towson loss to San Francisco 71-61 in the opening round.
Tigers again struggle to make shotsTowson had a difficult game against a red-hot San Francisco team that was 6-0 on Thursday night. They were playing without three key players in their rotation including Albany transfer Antonio Rizzuto (7ppg) and Jason Gibson (9ppg). They could have used all those players and 6-8 forward Juwan Gray as the Dons were too big inside and prevented the Tigers from shooting well inside the arc (13-of-34). Senior guard Terry Nolan led the Tigers with 15 points, while junior Nicolas Timberlake added 14 points. Towson did get to the line 31 times, making 23, but shot just 11 three-pointers (making four). San Francisco won this game because they made 11-of-25 three-pointers and 49% overall. The Tigers did scrap late in the game to keep it close and covered the 14.
One player who had an off-game for Towson, but has been sensational in their first six games has been 6-5 junior forward Cam Holden (12pts, 9 rebs, 5 TOs, 4 stls against USF). He's averaging 16.7 points per game, 11.2 rebounds and 2.0 steals on 51.4% shooting (36.8% 3pt). Towson averages 70.3 points per game on 40.8% shooting (28.3% 3pt). They allow 64 points per game on 41.7% shooting (32.1% 3pt). The Tigers also outrebound opponents by 5.2 per game.
Lobos have struggled against tough competitionBefore New Mexico headed to Las Vegas, they beat up on D2 Western New Mexico 88-63. Before they edged Montana State 81-78 and crushed Grambling 86-61. In their only so-called Power Five game, they fell by 11 at Colorado. On Thursday night, they couldn't stop Jordan Walker, a guard from UAB who poured in 26 points to lead the Blazers over New Mexico by 13. The Lobos' struggled to stop UAB defensively, allowing 49% shooting (9-26 3pt). They were also crushed on the boards by 14 and that's a concern against a quality rebounding club like Towson.
Jamal Mashburn Jr., who followed Richard Pitino from Minnesota to New Mexico this season, led the Lobos with 26 points, but also had five turnovers. The backcourt of Mashburn Jr. and Jaelen House (Arizona State transfer, son of Eddie) combined for 12 turnovers. Pitino's club is trying to blend in with several new transfers and new coaching staff. New Mexico's defense hasn't been horrible this season as they are allowing 44.6% shooting and 36.5% from three-point range. Offensively, they are talented, averaging 83.8 points per game on 49% shooting and 40.3% three-point shooting.
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
New Mexico and Towson share one thing: Zane Martin. The 6-4 shooting guard started out at Towson, transferred to New Mexico after his sophomore season and then transferred back last season to Towson. That didn't work out too well for Towson last season, who struggled big-time. This game is about a team that shoots badly, but rebounds (Towson) against a team that shoots well, but doesn't rebound (NM). The Lobos have the Power 5 players in Mashburn and House and more talent on the offensive end. If they weren't so sloppy yesterday, they could have beaten UAB. The Tigers should also have some fatigue issues considering their bench is thin.
Full-Game Total Pick
It's tough to go over with Towson's shooting woes. They are not a good three-point shooting team and are even worse without Gibson, Gray and Rizzuto. Their pace is a slow one at 274th in the nation, while New Mexico is at 17th. The Tigers slow the game down by going full court pressure at times and they might do that less knowing that their bench is so slim. They've gone under in six of their last eight games.