Georgetown wins easily, Maryland loses in the closing seconds and American's run at an upset falls short ...
FORTUNES RISING, TEAM
The Tigers (11-12) snapped a three-game skid, defeating Old Dominion 68-66 even after blowing a 16-point lead.
Towson improved to 6-4 in the CAA, and Jerrelle Benimon (21 points, 17 rebounds, five blocks) played his part. But four Tigers reached double figures, Bilal Dixon had 10 rebounds and Towson sufficiently recovered in the final minutes to shrug off a meltdown that spanned much of the second half.
Beating the Monarchs (2-18) does not qualify as a good win. But it was a good response for coach Pat Skerry's team, which returns home next week to face a pair of teams it already beat on the road (UNC Wilmington and Delaware). That's represents a viable opportunity to move back over .500, which certainly isn't a bad place to be with eight games left in the season.
FORTUNES RISING, INDIVIDUAL
John Caprio, Georgetown
The walk-on played 12 minutes in the Hoyas' 74-52 pummeling of Seton Hall, including a four-minute appearance just before halftime that seemed to come out of nowhere.
More importantly, he played well: Four points, six rebounds, two assists and no turnovers. About the only minus was contributing to a team-wide foul shooting malaise.
Caprio played all of 13 minutes all season before tonight, and just 11 against Big East opponents in his three-year career. Is there another dozen-minute stint in his future? Who knows. But he was exceptionally solid when the Hoyas needed him.
There's still a third of the season to go, and those inclined to hit the panic button are doing so prematurely.
But there's no doubt the Terrapins (15-6, 3-5 ACC) wasted an opportunity after Florida State's Michael Snaer sunk them with a 3-pointer in the closing seconds in Tallahassee.
The way it happened probably stings more than that it happened. Not only did Maryland waste an eight-point lead in the final seven minutes, the final flourish was provided by a guy with an extensive history of late-game daggers.
It's worth pointing out (again) that no team exists in a vacuum, and that wailing about postseason possibilities without thoroughly comparing one team to the rest of the field is a foolhardy and short-sighted endeavor. But the Terps would be well-served to start winning some games away from home in the near future; Maryland is 2-5 outside of College Park, including 1-4 in true road games.
NUMBER OF NOTE
Three-pointers for UMBC's Brian Neller in a 61-58 victory at Binghamton. Neller (18 points) and the Retrievers (5-16, 3-5 America East) have already matched their conference victory total from all of last season just halfway through the league season and have surpassed their win total from 2011-12.
ELSEWHERE IN THE CORRIDOR
Mike Muscala's jumper with a second left lifted Bucknell past American 56-55. That's just a brutal loss for the Eagles (7-14, 2-4 Patriot) to take, especially after leading for nearly all of the final 10 minutes. ... Short-handed Navy lost 71-49 to Lehigh. The Midshipmen (7-15, 1-5 Patriot) shot just 28.8 percent in the loss and haven't reached the 50-point plateau in four of their last six games. ...
Virginia Tech (11-9, 2-5 ACC) cooled off after building a 12-point lead in the first half, falling 73-64 to conference leader Miami. ... VCU (17-5) bounced back from consecutive losses, surviving a trip to Rhode Island with a 70-64 triumph. ... Richmond (13-9) dropped a 71-64 decision to Temple.
ON TAP THURSDAY
The D1scourse game of choice, George Mason (12-8, 5-3 Colonial) welcomes Drexel (8-12, 4-4) to Fairfax in a game that looked a whole lot better in October than it does today. ... Loyola (15-7, 7-3 Metro Atlantic) begins its two-game Buffalo swing with a visit to Canisius. ...
Mount St. Mary's (7-12, 2-6 Northeast) gets a vital game at home as it attempts to draw closer to Quinnipiac (8-12, 4-4) in the conference standings. The top eight make the NEC tournament; Quinnipiac is in a three-way tie for sixth. ... Further afield, James Madison (12-10) plays host to Hofstra.
--- Patrick Stevens