“I know I have to keep playing hard and working hard because the younger guys are looking at me every day,” he said after scoring 14 points and pulling down 13 rebounds Saturday. “If my attitude is bad then their attitude might be bad. Coach talks about two things all the time: guarding and grinding. As long as we keep doing that, something good is going to happen to us. The season’s not over. We’ve still got games to play.
Towson has had a couple of chances to end The Streak. It lost 62-58 to UMBC, shooting 8 of 25 from the free throw line. A few nights later, the Tigers were 9 of 24 from the line against Coppin State before losing, 71-57. Saturday they were 11 of 21. They rank in the bottom five in the country in both field goal percentage and free throw percentage. That will get you beat most nights — or, in this case, every night.
There will be at least 12 more chances to end the streak. There are teams that would want only to see the season end after 20 straight losses. Towson does not appear to be one of those teams.
“They can’t see it but I can,” Hewitt said. “They’re getting better and there’s going to come a time when it will click in before this season’s over. My second year at Georgia Tech we started out 0-7 in the ACC. Every week I would get on the [ACC] conference call and say, ‘We’re practicing well, we’re working hard,’ to the point where the reporters were sick of hearing it.
“We lost two games the rest of the way — at Duke and at Maryland, which won the national championship. We won on a buzzer-beater at Virginia, and after the game [former U-Va. Coach] Terry Holland came on our bus to say what we’d done was one of the most remarkable things he’d seen in basketball. That was a proud moment. I really believe Towson will have a moment like that.”
In “Groundhog Day,” the moment of escape for Phil Connors (Murray) comes when he wakes up in the morning and doesn’t hear “I Got You Babe” on the radio. The next chance to end what Skerry calls the “so-called streak,” comes for Towson at Delaware on Monday.
Maybe that will be the day Towson finally wakes up and finds that it is tomorrow. It happened for Phil Connors. It can happen for the Tigers.
For John Feinstein’s previous columns, go to washingtonpost.com/feinstein.