NEWARK, Del. – Led by Jerrelle Benimon’s NCAA-leading 12th double-double, the Towson men's basketball team picked up its fourth straight road win and snapped Delaware’s 10-game Colonial Athletic Association regular season win streak with a 69-66 victory over the Blue Hens at the Bob Carpenter Center on Wednesday night.
Towson (9-9, 4-1 CAA) has won four straight on the road for the first time since the 2005-06 season and the Tigers own a record of .500 or better after 18 games for the first time since that same season when they started 9-9 as well.
The win also snapped Delaware’s five-game winning streak and gave the Tigers their first victory over the Blue Hens in their last six tries.
Benimon finished with game-highs in points (19), rebounds (13) and assists (5). The junior has scored 17 or more in six straight games and has double-doubles in six of his last seven outings.
Juniors Rafriel Guthrie (15) and Marcus Damas (13), and graduate student Bilal Dixon (10), also scored in double figures for the Tigers, who are 6-0 this season when four or more players score in double-digits.
Delaware (8-9, 3-1 CAA) was led by Devon Saddler and Jamelle Hagins, who scored 16 apiece. Saddler, who entered the game leading the CAA in scoring at over 20 points per contest, was held to 4-for-13 shooting due in large part to the stellar defensive efforts of Damas and Guthrie.
The Tigers, who are now second in the CAA standings behind Northeastern, trailed 61-55 with 3:40 remaining before mounting a furious comeback.
Damas capped an 8-1 Towson run with a layup that put the Tigers ahead 63-62 with 1:37 remaining. With one minute left, a layup by Dixon gave the Tigers a 65-62 lead.
After two free throws by Hagins cut the lead to 65-64, freshman point guard Jerome Hairston connected on a pair from the line to put Towson up 67-64 with 26 seconds remaining. A floater by Saddler with 17 seconds left pulled UD to within 67-66.
With 11 seconds remaining, Saddler stole the ball to give Delaware a chance to pull out the win. However, Terrell Rogers missed a jumper and Marvin King-Davis missed the put-back as Damas grabbed the rebound. He was fouled with four seconds left and nailed both free throws to extend the lead back to three.
Saddler had a chance to send the game to overtime with a long three-point attempt at the buzzer, but it hit the backboard and bounced off the rim.