Towns Breaks 1,000 Points in Career
Story by Greg Pierce, Great Falls Sports Information
GREAT FALLS, Mont. -- Of all the points junior Marcel Towns scored this year--338--his final free throw, in overtime, was the money ball for the Argonauts as the University of Great Falls (Mont.) edged Rocky Mountain College (Mont.), 85-84, in Frontier Conference action at the McLaughlin Center.
Towns, a Tempe, Ariz. native began tonight's game with a career total of 974. Needing 26 points to reach the 1,000 point threshold, and achieving that mark at home was not what Towns was focusing on.
"I just want to play my best and help my team win," Towns said. "If any milestones or awards come in the process, so be it. I don't play for personal recognition. I am part of a team and we play together, finding the open man and giving our team the best chance at scoring."
This was evident when Towns sank points 24 and 25 with 9:52 in the second half. Needing just one point to become the first 1000 point shooter since the university reinstated basketball in 2000; Towns pulled down two rebounds and dished off an assist in lieu of forcing a bad shot. Regulation time ended with the score tied at 71 and Towns one point shy of 1,000.
With 3:11 on the clock in overtime Towns hit a 14 foot jumper that broke the 1,000 point mark. But the money shot came with less than one minute in the extra frame; Rocky's John Bayo fouled Towns sending him to the line to shoot a pair. Towns missed the first. The Bears called their final time out in an attempt to rattle Towns and draw up a big scoring play. Towns hit the second free throw giving the Argonauts an 85-81 lead. Rocky Mountain's Joel Barndt hit a 3-pointer to narrow the gap to a single point. The Argos inbounded the ball and kept away from the Bears for the remaining 2.8 seconds to seal the overtime victory.
"This was a great night for Marcel," Argonaut Head Coach Steve Silsby said. "Yet he is the type of player that would give up all the accolades as long as the team wins."
Towns finished with a game high of 28 points and a career mark of 1002 points in three years. Philadelphia, Penn. senior Miguel Bocachica added 17 points; Huntley, Mont. sophomore T.J. Harris added 12; and James Holmes of Las Vegas, Nev. chipped in 10.
Rocky Mountain was led by Jeremy Nicolas who racked up a team high 22 points. Joel Barndt tallied 20, and Malachi Roberts added 18 in a losing effort.
"I am so proud of the guys," Silsby continued. "It would have been so easy to hang their heads and take the overtime period off; but they did not do that. Miguel (Bocachica) came out and hit the early three and it loosened the entire team up."
The Argonauts shot .478 from the field, .318 from behind the arc, and .737 from the charity-stripe. The Bears shot .319 from the floor, .259 from the field, and .886 from the foul line.
Rocky Mountain took a nine point lead into the locker room at half yet the Argonauts were able to get that back and tie the game in the second half to force an extra frame. The Argos scored 14 in the extra period.
Rocky's largest lead came at the 18:47 mark of the first half when they stretched their advantage to 11 points. For the Argonauts, the largest lead would be eight with 1:42 remaining in regulation.
The Bears won the battle of the boards as they out rebounded the Argonauts 55-33. The Argos countered by giving up fewer turnovers, 15-22. Rocky's bench chalked up four more points than the Argos, 18-14.
"They came ready to play," Silsby added. "I'm glad we were always able to stay within reach."
With the win, the Argos improve to 2-1 in conference action as Rocky falls to 1-2. The Argos will head to Salt Lake City on Jan. 10 to take on Westminster College; then Great Falls will play the University of Montana Western on the rebound trip home on Jan.12. The Bears go home to host Montana Tech on Jan. 10, and undefeated Lewis and Clark State College on Jan. 12.
"This was a great team win," Silsby concluded.