How does a team grab nearly two-thirds of its offensive rebounding possibilities, shoot 57.4 percent from the floor and still lose?
Towson knows the answer to that basketball riddle. There's really only one way it could happen.
The Tigers' 25 turnovers contributed to a second-half meltdown in Monday's 85-84 loss to Fairleigh Dickinson at SECU Arena, a befuddling display of dreadful ballhandling for a team that has struggled with turnovers all season.
"I don't recall doing that badly my first year," said coach Pat Skerry, referring to the 1-31 team he piloted in 2011-12. "We have some work to do. We just can't take care of the ball. It's absolutely embarrassing."
It was the fifth consecutive loss for Towson (7-6), which led by as many as 16 early in the second half against the Knights (5-6).
Towson's problems are obvious. It doesn't have an established point guard. And, besides Four McGlynn, it doesn't have capable outside shooters.
But it especially doesn't have an established point guard.
Monday wasn't particularly rough for freshman Byron Hawkins, who had just two turnovers in 23 foul-plagued minutes. Junior college transfer Josh Ivory barely got off the bench, tossing a giveaway into his two-minute cameo late in the second half.
McGlynn handled the ball for a good chunk of the night, but he's not nearly as good as a point guard as he is as a shooter. He had six turnovers, one of five Towson players to notch at least three.
"I mean, who didn't turn it over?" Skerry asked.
Skerry tried using timeouts. He tried letting his team play through mistakes.
And by the time Fairleigh Dickinson had 20 points off turnovers in the second half alone, Towson needed an Eddie Keith II free throw just to force overtime.
"What do you tell them? Don't turn it over," Skerry said. "So then what you do? You work on dribbling, passing, catching every day. If that can't carry over when the other team's here and they put the scoreboard on, then you ask 'Do I have the right guys?' I'm not trying to hurt anybody's feelings, but you just can't turn the ball over. I don't know what else to say."
The Tigers rank 327th nationally in turnover percentage according to KenPom.com, a miserable figure that helps offset strengths on the offensive glass (fourth nationally in offensive rebounding percentage) and getting to the foul line (first in free throw rate).
But unless someone who can take care of the ball emerges, Towson's run through the CAA (however limited much of the league is) will be just as bumpy as Monday's experience.
"I like the group," Skerry said. "They practice hard. We're not mentally tough enough. We're not. You don't drop the last two games in the crunch if you have a couple guys to pull you through mentally. That's probably the most alarming to me. I like to coach tough guys. I don't think we're mentally tough."
If that's the case, Skerry's postgame plans couldn't have gone over well.
"We're going to back and watch that," Skerry said. "It'll be like a chainsaw massacre gone wild."