With their sixth victory in the last seven games, the Tigers improve to 10-9 overall and 5-1 in the CAA. Towson now boasts a winning record after 19 games for the first time since the 1999-2000 season in which the Tigers also started 10-9.
Towson recorded its third-highest margin of victory in a CAA game with the 26-point win. The only times the Tigers won by more points were a 76-45 win over William & Mary on Dec. 3, 2005 and a 92-65 victory over Georgia State on Feb. 10, 2007.
Towson’s 26-point margin of victory is its largest margin ever against James Madison. The Tigers and the Dukes have now played 37 games since 1979.
The Tigers, who are off to their best start in conference play since joining the CAA in 2001-02, are 5-1 in the conference and stand second in the league standings behind Northeastern. This is the first time since 1995-96 that Towson has open its conference schedule with a 5-1 record. The last time Towson was 5-1 in conference play came when the Tigers were members of the North Atlantic (now America East) Conference.
In the win over James Madison, the Tigers exploded in the second half to take command. Leading 31-28 at intermission, the Tigers outscored the Dukes by 42-19 in the second half, holding the visitors to just 26.9 percent shooting.
Leading 47-36 with 9:50 remaining, the Tigers started to pull away when freshman Jerome Hairston and junior Mike Burwell connected on back-to-back three-pointers only 23 seconds apart to increase the lead to 53-36. From that point on, the Dukes were never closer than 15 points.
Sophomore forward Jamel Flash gave the Tigers their largest lead of the game when he nailed a jumper with 53 seconds left, giving Towson a 73-45 advantage.
Junior Jerrelle Benimon, who recorded his NCAA-leading 13th double-double of the season, posted 13 points and grabbed a game-high 12 rebounds for the Tigers. Graduate student Bilal Dixon connected on four of eight shots from the floor while scoring 13 points with seven rebounds and three blocked shots. Hairston added 13 points on five-for-nine shooting. He also made three of six shots from three-point range.
Defensively, the Tigers held the Dukes to 25.5 shooting from the floor and outrebounded the Dukes, 45-33.
Towson made eight shots from beyond the arc, its second most of the season. The Tigers also had a season-high 15 assists, including four each from Benimon and junior Marcus Damas.
The Tigers return to action on Monday night when they host Georgia State at 7:00 p.m.