Freshman Jerome Hairston scored a season-high 20 points on Saturday.
Courtesy: Rich Riggins
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Freshman Jerome Hairston scored a season-high 20 points on Saturday.
| @Towson_MBB Holds Off Drexel For 16th Victory
Courtesy: Athletics Media Relations  
Release: 02/23/2013
    Towson-Drexel Post-Game Quotes (Feb. 23, 2012)
   Box Score
TOWSON, Md.   Towson freshman Jerome Hairston scored a career-high 20 points and made a critical steal in the closing seconds of the game as the Tigers clinched their first winning season in 17 years with a 72-71 victory over Drexel on Saturday afternoon.

In the next-to-last game played at the Towson Center, the Tigers held off a spirited Drexel comeback to improve to 16-13 overall and 11-5 in the Colonial Athletic Association. The Tigers are currently in second-place in the CAA, trailing Northeastern by two games with two games left for both.

Towson has won six of its last seven games to reach the 16-win plateau for the first time since finishing the 1995-96 season with a 16-12 mark. Their 11 conference wins are the most for the Tigers since also winning 11 as members of the North Atlantic Conference in 1995-96.

Junior forward Jerrelle Benimon recorded his 19th double-double of the season with 19 points and 10 rebounds. He also set Towson’s Division I single-season rebounding mark in the game and now has 326 boards on the year.

In a back-and-forth final few minutes, Benimon snapped a 68-68 tie by converting a three-point play with 1:20 remaining in the game. Drexel's Derrick Thomas answered on the other end with a layup to pull the Dragons to within 71-70.

Drexel regained possession and called a timeout with 17 seconds remaining. With 9.9 seconds remaining, Hairston jumped in a passing lane and stole a pass by Damion Lee.

Hairston then converted one of two free throws to put the Tigers up 72-70 with 9.9 seconds left.

Lee then drove the lane but his game-tying layup was blocked by Towson's Marcus Damas. After Thomas missed the put-back, Drexel's Kazembe Abif grabbed the rebound and was fouled with 1.2 seconds on the clock.

Abif missed the first free throw. He made the second to pull Drexel to within one. The Tigers quickly inbounded the ball and the Dragons were unable to foul before the clock expired.

The Tigers led by as many as many as 12 points in the first half as Hairston shot 6-for-6 from the field and led the Tigers with 14 points at the intermission.

Towson outrebounded Drexel, 33-29, due in large part to the play of graduate student Bilal Dixon, who finished with 10 rebounds. It was his 28th double figure rebounding game of his career.

The victory enabled Towson to sweep Drexel for the first time since the 2001-02 season. The Tigers have also swept UNC Wilmington and Delaware this season.

Towson will play its final road game on the year on Tuesday at George Mason. The game will be televised live on Comcast SportsNet at 7 p.m.


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