TOWSON, Md. – Senior forward Jerrelle Benimon recorded his NCAA-leading 15th double-double of the season as Towson defeated defending Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) champion James Madison, 80-71, inside SECU Arena on Tuesday night.
Towson (15-8, 6-2 CAA), which has won three straight games, owns its best record after 23 games since also starting the 1993-94 season at 15-8. The Tigers have 15 wins at their earliest point in a calendar year since 1977-78.
Senior Rafriel Guthrie led four Tigers in double figures with 17 points. Benimon finished with 16 points, 15 rebounds and six assists.
Towson took control of the game in the final minutes of the first half. With the Dukes leading 23-21 and 6:29 left in the half, the Tigers went on a 17-2 run and took a 38-25 lead into halftime.
In the second half, the Tigers extended their lead to 20 points on several occasions. The only time that James Madison cut the deficit to single digits came on the last play of the game when two Tigers jumped for a rebound and the ball was tipped into the Dukes basket to make the final score 80-71.
Senior Mike Burwell scored 14 points on 5-for-8 shooting with two three's while classmate Marcus Damas chipped in 10 points on 4-for-7 shooting to go along with seven rebounds. Sophomore Timajh Parker-Rivera scored nine points on 4-for-5 shooting while grabbing six rebounds.
The Tigers, who shot 53.6 percent in the first half and 49.1 percent for the game, held the Dukes to 43.9 percent shooting from the floor and 26.7 percent shooting from beyond the arc.
James Madison (8-15, 3-6 CAA) was led by sophomore Andre Nation, who scored a game-high 20 points.
Towson returns to action on Saturday afternoon when they host the College of Charleston at 2:00 p.m. The game can be seen live on Comcast SportsNet.