At some point it starts sounding like a broken record, but in just 23 minutes of action today, Tracy Smith poured in 31 points, including a perfect 11-for-11 mark from the free throw line, to lead State to a 88-68 win over Towson.
Even going back to last season, you could see that Smith was one of the guys on the team whose motor was always churning at a high level. He's continued that play to start this year; he was at or near the top in offensive rating nearly every game so far. Today, it all fell into place.
Brandon Costner continued his unselfish play of late with 10 assists. Towson played zone most of the first half and Costner attacked it like a veteran, driving into the weak spots, waiting for the collapse and then dishing to a wide open Pack player, often Smith, for an easy bucket. He also chipped in 15 points for another double-double.
The scoring was pretty evenly spread out from there: Dennis Horner in a starting role had 10, along with Ben McCauley, and Courtney Fells had 11.
The Pack struggled at times in this game, however, with Towson jumping out to an 11-point lead in the first half behind the shooting of Josh Thornton who nailed four quick threes in a span of a few minutes to put the Tigers out in front big.
But from there Smith went to work, finishing the half with 19 points as the Pack continued to feed him down on the blocks.
Hopefully Smith will continue to get more and more minutes as the conference season approaches. He'll get to see a stout test against the Florida Gators up next; if he produces against a tough SEC team just two years removed from a national title, then it'll be almost impossible to justify keeping him off the court as conference play approaches.