By Kevin Watson
Baltimore Watchdog Staff Writer
The Towson women’s basketball team had a series of firsts in 2018-2019: first CAA championship game, first CAA title and first NCAA Tournament appearance.
The Tigers’ 53-49 victory over second-seeded Drexel in the CAA championship game was the apex of their season. Losing to Connecticut, the best program in women’s basketball, in the first round of the NCAAs was nothing to be ashamed of and gave Towson a high-profile national showcase.
So what comes next? That’s the question as Towson enters the 2019-2020 season.
“The emotions carry over, a lot of people think it was a fluke but we know what we are capable of as a team,” said assistant coach Cheyenne Curley. “We plan to repeat.”
Towson’s first chance to begin its run will come Tuesday when it hosts Penn State (4 p.m., SECU Arena). Penn State was 12-18 last year, while the Tigers went 20-13.
Curley knows Towson will have a target on its back this season.
“Any time you try to go back to back there is added pressure, but our kids are ready for it,” Curley said. “We are returning four or five seniors so we will see what happens.”
While last season was historic for Towson, there remains room for improvement: winning the regular-season CAA title and winning a first-round tournament game, among them.
If the Tigers want to repeat as champions, they will have to rely heavily on their guard play. Q. Murray set the single-season assist record last year with 147. Kionna Jeter finished the season with 572 points, second in program history. She also led the team and the CAA in scoring with 17.3 points per game. Nukiya Mayo scored 20 points in the CAA championship game last year to lead the team to its first-ever championship.
The Tigers made it hard for opponents to score in the paint last year, averaging 6.3 blocks a game. The team scored 67.2 points a game.
The team lost two impact frontcourt players from last year’s team. Janeen Camp was named to the CAA All-freshman team last year. She left Towson after her first season and transferred to Costal Carolina. Camp led the team in blocks last season with 52.
Looking for someone to pick up those numbers might not be too hard. Mayo had three blocks in the first round of the NCAA tournament game against the No. 2-seed Huskies.