Towson 69, Samford 62

TOWSON, Md. (AP) -- Gary Neal scored a career-high 41 points and Towson beat Samford 69-62 Thursday night.

Tim Crossin added 10 points for the Tigers (2-0), who have won their first two games for the first time since 1989-90.

Randall Gulina led the Bulldogs (1-2) with 18 points. Jerry Smith scored 13 points and Travis Peterson 11 for Samford.

Neal's total was the most ever scored by a Tiger at Towson Center and tied for the fourth-most in team history.

Sixteen of Gulina's points came in the second half, and he twice got Samford within three points down the stretch. His strong inside move with 2:15 left made it 57-54 and a pair of free throws with 1:33 remaining closed the gap to 59-56.

But Neal responded by scoring Towson's next seven points, beginning with a long 3-pointer from the left side, en route to a 66-60 lead. Neal topped his personal record of 40 points by canning a pair of free throws with 4.2 seconds left.

Samford, which came into the game shooting 48 percent from beyond the 3-point arc, finished 3-for-24 on 3-point attempts. Gulina, who had hit 20 of 30 3-point shots, was 1-for-10.

Neal scored 21 first-half points, including 10 in a game-opening 18-4 run.

Samford was 1-for-13 from 3-point range in the first half, and an 11-2 burst capped by Jason Black's pull-up baseline jumper helped the Bulldogs get as close as 28-23 2:51 before halftime.

Peterson had eight points during an 11-1 run early in the second half, helping Samford cut into Towson's 38-25 halftime lead.