HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. -- With senior Jerrelle Benimon in foul trouble for most of the second half, seniors Rafriel Guthrie and Mike Burwell stepped up to combine for 23 points in the final 16:32 to propel Towson to an 83-77 win over Hofstra in a Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) contest at the Mack Sports Complex on Saturday afternoon.
With the victory, the Tigers (20-9, 11-3 CAA) became only the second Towson team to win 20 games at the NCAA Division I level. The 1993-94 Tigers finished the season with a 21-9 record.
The Tigers, who have won four straight games and eight of their last nine, pull to within one and a half games of first-place Delaware in the CAA standings.
Benimon finished with a team-high 22 points on 7-for-10 shooting with six rebounds while playing a season-low 26 minutes. The senior picked up his fourth foul with 13:19 remaining in the game and sat for nearly 10 minutes before reentering with just 3:45 left in the contest.
With the Tigers clinging to a 55-51 lead and six minutes remaining, Burwell, who finished with 15 points, and Guthrie, who tallied 16, led a 14-3 run that gave Towson a 69-54 advantage with 3:11 left.
Hofstra (8-21, 4-10 CAA) made a valiant comeback attempt and pulled to within 78-73 with 51 seconds remaining on a three-point basket by Zeke Upshaw, but could get no closer than five the rest of the way.
Upshaw finished with a game-high 33 points, the most points scored by an individual against the Tigers this season. He shot 9-for-21 from the floor and 12-for-12 from the free throw line. As a team, the Pride shot 50 percent, the best against Towson since December 21 when North Dakota State shot 55.8 percent.
The Tigers outscored Hofstra 13-0 in bench points, including six points from freshman John Davis, who played a pivotal 12 minutes with Benimon on the bench. Towson shot 46.9 percent from the floor, made four of eight three-pointers and connected on 33 of 41 (80.5 percent) free throw attempts.
Towson will conclude a three-game road swing on Wednesday at James Madison. Tip time is set for 7 p.m. from the JMU Convocation Center.