BOSTON — Northeastern nearly completed a remarkable comeback from a 17-point deficit, but Towson’s hot three-point shooting proved to be the difference as the Tigers handed the Huskies their first home loss of CAA play, by a final score of 73-67.
Six different Towson players connected from deep in the first half, as the Tigers made seven triples in the first 15 minutes of Friday night’s contest at the Cabot Center. Freshman forward Gabby Scott’s three gave Towson what would be their largest lead of the game, a 37-20 advantage.
Northeastern went 0-for-3 from deep in the first half, with all of those attempts coming in a two-minute span towards the beginning of the second quarter. The Huskies were relying on interior play, but saw the Tigers’ lead balloon as they could only answer threes with twos.
Northeastern did a better job defensively to close the half, with the Tigers missing their eight field goal attempts following Scott’s triple. However, the Huskies could not take advantage on the offensive end, going scoreless from the field in the final four-and-a-half minutes of the half.
Northeastern had spurts of offensive production in the third quarter, but it seemed like Towson was able to answer with a timely three every time the Huskies started to chip away. Sophomore guard Gemima Motema, coming off the bench Friday after missing Northeastern’s last three games, started the second-half scoring, but senior guard/forward Anissa Rivera answered with a three for the Tigers. Rivera, who came into the contest shooting just 25% from deep, went 4-for-9 for three Friday and finished the game with 16 points as Towson’s leading scorer.
The Huskies were able to cut the deficit to six by the end of the third quarter, off a triple from graduate student guard JaMiya Braxton.
In the fourth quarter, a four-point possession was part of a 6-0 run that allowed Northeastern to get within four, the closest they had been with the Tigers since the opening minutes of the game.
However, Towson answered with a run of their own, powered by back-to-back threes from sophomore guard Patricia Anumgba, a junior college transfer. Another three from Rivera put the Tigers up 12 with just over two minutes remaining, but the Huskies were able to rattle off a 10-0 run, capped by an NBA-range triple from Braxton.
With the shot clock off, Northeastern had to play the foul game to stay within reach. The Huskies were able to send sophomore forward Quinzia Fulmore to the line, who was shooting just 57% from the charity stripe on the season. Fulmore, though, was able to bury two clutch free throws, and a five-second violation after Braxton was unable to inbound the ball with no timeouts seemed to effectively seal the game. However, the Huskies got a mulligan after an iffy jump ball call gave them back possession. Northeastern drew up a play for sharpshooting sophomore guard Camille Clement, who had not appeared in the game up until that point, and she missed a tough look from deep.
The Huskies showed a degree of resilience throughout the night, but the early deficit was simply too much to overcome.
“We didn’t get the stops that we needed,” said Northeastern head coach Bridgette Mitchell. “We say it all season long: our team has to mature and be able to close out a game from start to finish and we didn’t start very well today. We get another chance on Sunday though, so we’ve got to make sure that we’re locked in and focused to play Monmouth.”
The Huskies return to the court Sunday afternoon at 1:30 p.m. for their Alumnae Game, as they host Monmouth in a rematch of the conference opener. Peyton Doyle and Reece Calvin will have the call for WRBB Sports.