Previewing @Towson_MBB vs. UNCW
Courtesy: Mat Schlissel, TowsonTigers.com  
Release: 02/03/2013
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There are just four home games left for the Towson Tigers (11-12 overall, 6-4 Colonial Athletic Association (CAA)), who would like to finish the final year of the Towson Center with a winning record. The Tigers are 2-5 at home this season and face a much-improved UNCW (8-13, 3-6 CAA) on Monday night at the Towson Center at 7 p.m.

Last season, Towson's lone win came at home on January 28, as the Tigers defeated the Seahawks, 66-61. The game also marked the end of an NCAA-record 41-game losing streak for the Tigers.

On Jan. 2, 2013, the Tigers jumped out to a 44-28 halftime lead, and held on to win, 79-74, at Trask Coliseum in Wilmington. Junior Jerrelle Benimon scored 19 points, grabbed eight rebounds, dished out five assists and blocked five shots to lead the Tigers. UNCW was led by Keith Rendleman, who scored 14 points and grabbed 21 rebounds and guard Craig Ponder, who had 23 points.

UNCW out-rebounded the Tigers in this one, 43-35, and shot 7-of-17 from 3-point range, which helped lead the Seahawks from 19 down to just three with eight seconds left. The Tigers had just six turnovers in this game, and four players scored in double figures.

This season UNCW shoots 40 percent from the field and 33 percent from beyond the arc. The Seahawks average 61.1 points per game and allow 68.4 points per game. They have averaged 16 turnovers per game and forced an average of 12.5. Defensively, UNCW allows its opponents to shoot 43.6 percent from the field and just 30 percent from deep.

Towson has struggled at home this season, but the Tigers do have an advantage after being off this past weekend, while UNCW had to travel to Newark, Del. The Seahawks fell to Delaware, 71-56, on Saturday as Devon Saddler scored 21 points and Jamelle Hagins added 20 and 11 rebounds for the Blue Hens. The Tigers will meed the Blue Hens on Wednesday at the Towson Center. Amazingly, Delaware went 0-for-11 from 3-point range against UNCW but had 38 points in the paint and went 21-of-26 from the foul line.

UNCW did defeat Hofstra on the road on Jan. 27, 57-51, but has lost three of their last four overall.

Benimon once again meets another very good power forward in Rendleman (6-8, 220). The senior averages 15.6 points per game and 10.2 rebounds per game to rank third in the league. He also shoots 51 percent from the floor (fifth in the CAA) and 61 percent from the line, while leading the team in steals with 37 and ranks second with 28 blocks.

At center, sophomore Cedrick Williams (6-9, 220) provides length and another quality rebounder inside. He didn't start against Delaware but still played 24 minutes off the bench. He averages 5.7 ppg and 6.6 rpg while leading the team in blocks (32). He averages 25.8 minutes per game and shoots 40 percent from the floor and 73 percent from the line.

Sophomore guard Freddie Jackson (6-4, 182) averages 5.4 ppg, 3.5 rpg and is second on the team with 26 steals. He shoots 39 percent from the field and 27 percent (9-of-34) from beyond the arc.

Freshman guard Chris Dixon (6-0, 188) has started 12 of 20 games this season. He now ranks second on the team with 9.4 points per game and first in assists with 47 (57 turnovers). Dixon shoots 40 percent from the field and 34 percent (23-of-67) from the 3-point line.

Junior guard Tanner Milson (6-2, 190) has started 16 of 21 games and averages 24.5 minutes per game. He ranks second on the team with 42 assists (44 turnovers), while averaging 6.9 ppg. He shoots an impressive 36 percent (31 of 82) from deep and the same percentage from the field.

Redshirt freshman Ponder (6-1, 185), who scored 23 against Towson in the first game, ranks third on the team in scoring with 8.1 points per game and shoots 37 percent (15-of-41) from 3-point range. He averages 25.4 mpg and shoots 39 percent from the field.

UNCW started junior Shane Reybold (6-8, 238) against Delaware (his fourth start this season), though he played just 10 minutes. He averages 1.9 ppg and 2.2 rpg while playing 9.4 mpg.

Grad student Tyree Graham (6-1, 225) has spent time at Rutgers, Brunswick Community College and Texas Tech but has had health problems that have limited his playing time. He's a valuable player off the bench, who averages 5.1 points per game and shoots 29 percent (18-of-26) from beyond the arc. He takes most of his shots from 3-point range and has made 23-of-80 (29 percent).

Redshirt freshman Luke Hager (6-8, 205) and freshman Dylan Sherwood (6-9, 218) add size off the pine.

The Tigers will look for their second straight win on Monday night. Catch my blog during the game at TowsonTigers.com.

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