Halfway through its Colonial Athletic Association schedule, Towson is 3-0 in the league and tied with No. 12 Penn State for first place in the conference. As euphoric as the team’s rebound from an 0-3 start may seem, coach Shawn Nadelen said the players aren’t giving into the temptation of assuming that they have locked up a berth in the four-team CAA tournament.
“Being 3-0 definitely helps our chances, but I think the CAA is still wide open,” he said Monday evening. “There are a lot of games left and we’re only halfway through our conference play. We still have our toughest opponents coming up as far as records are concerned. So we’ve got to continue to take every game in the CAA as if it’s the most important one, and that’s the only thing we’re worried about. Getting the first three as wins under our belt helps us, but we’ve been in situations before where it’s not enough. So we’ve got to keep improving and keep winning.”
The Tigers (7-5) will get a chance to own first place outright in the conference with a win against the aforementioned Nittany Lions (8-3) this Saturday. A victory would put Towson a full game ahead of Penn State, but a loss could drop the team into a tie with No. 20 Drexel (8-3 overall and 3-1 in the conference).
Nadelen said the players are fully aware of the ramifications of beating the Nittany Lions for the first time since 2010.
“The guys know that both teams are undefeated in the CAA, and they’ve had the upper hand on us the past two years,” he said. “This is for No. 1 in the conference. It’s a great opportunity for us to go up there and kind of put our best foot forward. We know we’re going to get their best, and we’ll see how the game falls out. Our guys are excited to get that opportunity and know that we’re in a good position to play for No. 1 in the CAA.”