TOWSON, Md. – Senior Jerrelle Benimon scored a game-high 25 points and grabbed a season-high tying 18 rebounds to post his NCAA-leading 18th double-double of the season while leading Towson to a 78-63 win over Delaware in a matchup between the top two teams in the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) inside SECU Arena on Monday night.
The victory ended Delaware’s 13-game winning streak, the sixth-longest streak in the nation. The Blue Hens, who have not lost since December 30, fall to 19-8 overall and 11-1 in the CAA. Towson, which has now won six of its last seven games, improves to 18-9 overall and 9-3 in league play.
The Tigers, who improve to 14-1 at home this season, have matched last season’s win total.
Benimon shot 9-for-15 from the floor while also dishing out a game-high five assists. His rebound total matched a season-high and he was just three shy of his career high. Senior Mike Burwell chipped in 17 with seven rebounds and classmate Rafriel Guthrie added 15 points on 6-for-9 shooting.
Towson led by as many as eight points (22-14) in the first half and never trailed after a Guthrie three-pointer gave the Tigers a 31-30 lead with 4:48 remaining in the period. Towson shot 48 percent in the opening stanza and took a 41-34 advantage into the break.
Although the Tigers led for the entire second half, the Blue Hens pulled to within 58-53 with 9:06 remaining on a pair of free throws by Davon Usher, who led Delaware with 24 points despite shooting just 5-for-17 from the field.
With 7:19 remaining, the Tigers went on a 10-0 run that increased their lead to 73-57 with 3:50 remaining. During the 10-0 run, Benimon had two baskets and three rebounds. A rebound and put-back by sophomore Timajh Parker-Rivera capped the spurt.
Delaware never got any closer than 10 points the rest of the way.
The Blue Hens, who were held to a seasonal low 63 points, shot just 31.7 percent from the field and made only four of 20 shots from beyond the arc. Delaware entered Monday’s game averaging a CAA-leading 80.3 points per game.
Towson held a commanding 50-38 rebounding edge and scored 38 points in the paint to Delaware’s 22.
Timajh Parker-Rivera was the fourth Tiger in double figures with 11 points on 5-for-7 shooting to go along with nine rebounds.
The victory pulls Towson to within two games of Delaware in the CAA standings. Each team has four conference games remaining.
The Tigers return to the road for a Thursday match-up with Northeastern. That game can be seen live on Comcast SportsNet at 7 p.m.