Baltimore Watchdog Staff Writers
TOWSON, Md – The Towson Tiger’s 93-86 victory over the Bucknell Bison Saturday at SECU arena was a slam dunk for hurricane survivors in Texas, Louisiana, Florida, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
The pre-season exhibition men’s basketball game was co-hosted by Towson University and the Salvation Army to raise funds for hurricane relief. Approximately 150 people were in attendance and more than half chose to donate, but a total tally has not been announced.
“It was a great opportunity,” said sophomore Justin Gorham, a forward for the Tigers. “It was fun doing something we love to give back.”
However, Dwayne Toomer, father of Bucknell guard, Avi Toomer, had a few opinions about the outcome of the game.
“These are two very aggressive athletic teams,” said Dwayne Toomer. “It’s very hard to beat a team that scored 90 points.”
Despite the loss, Toomer left in good spirits and donated $20.
Bucknell and Towson are former league rivals in the East Coast Conference. This was their first time meeting on the court since 2007, according to the GameDay series notes.The Bison led 39-35 after a very close first half. Around the 12 minute mark in the second half, the Tigers went on a scoring run and took a commanding double-digit lead. Gorham and senior Mike Morsell both finished with 21 points to go along with 10 rebounds from Gorham in a strong second half.
The National Association of Basketball Coaches brought forth the idea of the exhibition game, and already has helped several college sporting events raise money for charity. Rob Knox, associate director of media relations, confirmed that both teams received an NCAA waiver to play Saturday’s game.
Although admission was free for the exhibition game, attendees were encouraged to donate $5 to assist the ongoing relief efforts in Louisiana, Texas, Puerto Rico and the U.S Virgin Islands. Similar efforts from college sporting events in Kentucky and Kansas have raised upwards of $1 million, officials said.
“I think it’s great,” said Bucknell supporter Tim Summers. “I’m glad the NCAA allowed this and that Towson supported it.”Towson freshman, Ayomide Freschola, was happy to volunteer part of her Saturday to stand beside the Salvation Army’s iconic red buckets.
“I’m glad I’m here,” Freschola said. “I think it’s really good how they’re doing this event because it brings people together and helps people who have been devastated from the hurricanes.”
Knox described the event as “a huge blessing,” explaining “…anytime you can use your God-given ability and talent to impact others and make a difference.”
The Tigers finished last season with a record of 20-13. They finished third in the CAA conference. Towson travels to Virginia to face Old Dominion for the season opener on Nov. 10.