| @Towson_MBB Reacts to Big Crowd
Courtesy: Athletics Media Relations  
Release: 02/07/2013
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Maybe the good karma of the Super Bowl Champion Baltimore Ravens rubbed off on the Towson Tigers on Wednesday night against the Delaware Blue Hens. Wide receiver Torrey Smith was in the house taking in the game just a day after a parade that celebrated the team's 34-31 win over San Francisco in Sunday's Super Bowl from New Orleans.
 
The Towson Tigers, now 13-12 on the season and 8-4 in the CAA, played superbly at the Towson Center, downing Delaware 85-65. This was a Delaware team that had won three straight games and was 6-3 in the CAA going into the game.

Towson is off to its best start since the 1995-96 season, when they went 16-12. That was the last winning season before the program started the streak of 16 straight losing seasons.
 
With six games left, there's no guarantee this will finally be the season to break another losing streak. Towson has a challenging four road games coming up against Georgia State, James Madison, Hofstra and George Mason. But the Tigers have played well on the road this season, winning six of 13 overall and four of five in the CAA.
 
The Tigers have had issues at home until their last two games. Towson is now 4-3 at home after beating UNCW on Monday, 81-68 and the Blue Hens on Wednesday by 20 points. It's probably not a coincidence that Towson's students were back in school to see both home games. On Monday, 1,368 showed up to see the Tigers beat the Seahawks a day after the Super Bowl. On Wednesday, there was a season-high crowd of 2,409 to see a team jump out to an 11-0 lead and never look back.
 
"Our guys are excited to come out and play in front of our students," said head coach Pat Skerry after the game. "We had a great turnout. We appreciated everyone coming out. It's only a sign of things to come. These guys (juniors Jerrelle Benimon and Marcus Damas) and a lot of other guys are going to be back. We are just going to try and continue to get better and finish the right way."
 
The Tigers played arguably their most complete game of the season. The "formula" was evident once again as Towson dominated the backboards, outrebounding the Blue Hens, 51-27 led by grad student Bilal Dixon's 13 caroms. They also held Delaware to just 29% shooting from the field. Towson shot a blazing 69% from the field in the second half, as the Tigers also scored 12 fast break points and 13 points off of turnovers. Towon's frontcourt of Benimon, Damas and Dixon outscored Delaware's frontcourt 42 to 29. The Tigers also shared the ball as Benimon led the team with a career-high tying five assists.
 
Benimon posted 21 points and 12 rebounds to earn his 17th double-double, which leads the nation. The junior has helped get the program back on the right track. On Wednesday, he got assistance from freshman Jerome Hairston, who scored 17 points, showing a dizzying array of drives and acrobatic finishes inside.
 
Towson started out the 2012-13 season as a team with little chemistry, searching for an identity. Now they play a physical brand of basketball and aren't worried about taking charges or diving for loose balls. With a control of the defensive backboards, the Tigers are beginning to get out and run a lot more than they did earlier in the season. In other words, this team's progreess has been fun to watch.
 
So, are the Tigers worried about playing four of their last six games on the road?
 
 "We usually play really well on the road and road crowds are pretty big," said Benimon. "Getting more fans does help us."
 
In the final two home games, it would be nice to see huge crowds to close the Towson Center down against two opponents who go back to the East Coast Conference days of the early 90's in Drexel and Hofstra. The energy of big crowds (at home or on the road) can have an effect on this team in a positive manner.


-TowsonTigers.com-

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