A Look Back at Benimon's Big Night
Courtesy: Athletics Media Relations  
Release: 12/06/2012
You could say that Towson's win over Vermont was a signature win, but they were really just trying to bounce back from two road losses to local rivals - UMBC and Loyola - and play well.
But on Wednesday night, they received a phenomenal performance from a burly junior forward from Warrenton, Va. who put on a show that has to go down as one of the greatest in the history of Towson basketball for a post player.
Junior Jerrelle Benimon, at 6-foot-8, 245-pounds, does things that few post players have been able to do in Towson basketball history. On Wednesday night in Burlington, Vt., Benimon put up one of the best all-around games for a big man in recent memory.
He helped carry the Tigers to that "signature win" as Towson defeated Vermont, 68-64. This was the first "true" road win for the Tigers, who defeated Kennesaw State, Cincinnati Christian and Radford at the 2012 Comfort Suites Invitational from Richmond, Ky. They didn't just beat some America East team, but a program that has averaged 24 wins per season over the last four years.
Benimon came into the game averaging 14.4 points per contest and 9.9 rebounds. He had some excellent performances at the Comfort Suites Invitational, leading the Tigers to a 3-1 record and also capturing co-CAA Player of the Week honors. He topped those performances on Wednesday. He posted a career-high 29 points on 11-for-15 shooting and grabbed 10 rebounds, blocked two shots, had four steals and dished out three assists. By the way, he had just one turnover in 38 minutes.
In the first half, when Vermont attempted to come back from an 11-point deficit, Benimon seemed to have every answer. Even when he wasn't scoring, he was dishing out assists. After two straight Vermont three-pointers late in the first half as momentum was swinging towards Vermont, Benimon broke the Catamount press and fed sophomore Kris Walden in the corner for a three-pointer. After a jumper by Luke Apfeld, Benimon answered with a layup to keep the Tigers up near the end of the half.
In the second half, Vermont took a 50-44 lead with 12:01 left and it looked as though they were going to start to pull away. But once again, Benimon answered with a conventional three-point play. When the Tigers needed him in the second half, Benimon was there to rebound, defend and score as he poured in 15 points during the final period.
Towson may have found the formula to success at Vermont. While the offense was somewhat erratic, as the Tigers shot 67 percent in the first half and 37 percent in the second, they took just 10 three-pointers and outscored Vermont in the paint, 44-16. Shooting 72 percent from the line and turning the ball over a manageable 14 times also helped. Juniors Mike Burwell and Marcus Damas made all four of their free throw attempts in the last 20 seconds. Winning is about maximizing your strengths and minimizing your weakness. Right now, a strength is the inside game, led by Benimon.
Learning how to win is a difficult process, especially when the program has won just 15 games in the previous three seasons. Benimon has helped Towson get in position to win most of its eight games thus far with his all-around play.

His next challenge? Meeting his old team on December 8 when the Tigers take on Georgetown at the Verizon Center. Tip off is set for 12 noon.


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