| @Towson_MBB Rewind: North Dakota State
Courtesy: Athletics Media Relations  
Release: 12/16/2012
Turnovers were a problem for Towson last year as they averaged over 18 per game while playing with a freshman point guard and the least experienced team in the nation.
This year, turnovers are down a bit down (15.4 per game) even though the Tigers are still being led by a freshman point guard (Jerome Hairston). Against Temple and Georgetown, Towson combined to commit 41 turnovers, yet managed to play competitively in both games.
Yet on Saturday night, Towson committed a season-low six turnovers. But they ended up on the losing end of a 65-48 loss to a very good North Dakota State team, which improved to 9-3 with the win.
Unfortunately for the Tigers, they fell in their first home game of the season in front over 1,600 fans. In their three last three games, they shot a combined 60 of 162 from the field (37%) and 11 of 57 from three-point range (19%). The competition has partially dictated the subpar performances from the field, but head coach Pat Skerry also thinks to play against good teams, you have to execute to the fullest.
"I thought we just didn't sustain our energy," said Skerry after the game. "We were out-rebounded the first time since the first game of the season and we got out-toughed, which was disappointing. Offensively, we wanted to drive the ball, kick it and drive the ball again. We did a very poor job of that. Hopefully that's something we learn from. Against good teams, if you can't move the ball and can't get good spacing, you'll struggle to score. We're not that individually gifted."
Towson got solid performances from junior guard Mike Burwell, who poured in 14 points on 5-for-10 shooting (4-for-9 from beyond the arc), and sophomore guard Kris Walden, who tallied nine points off the bench. But the four other starters shot a combined 9-for-33 from the field. Junior Jerrelle Benimon, coming off a 30-point, 18-rebound effort against Temple, didn't seem to have the same energy and may have been hindered by an ankle injury that occurred late in the game against the Owls. He was also double teamed every time he touched the ball in the paint. Benimon, who came into the game averaging over 17 points per contest, wound up with six points and five boards with two blocks in just 28 minutes, including no caroms in the first half.
"He didn't rebound the ball," said Skerry." Hopefully it's just one bad game. We are looking for our guys to have a certain measure of consistency. We certainly didn't have it tonight. A couple of guys played well, but we haven't had a night where four or five guys played well together. We haven't grasped yet what execution means. Not one of our guys does what they're supposed to do offensively all the time. Until we get that right, we'll struggle against good teams. We are not going to throw on the jersey and just show up and beat people."
Towson was able to get some looks on the perimeter, but inside, the Bison were all over Benimon and graduate student Bilal Dixon (6 points, 11 boards), with solid positional defense and great weak side defense (eight blocks).

Burwell was a bright spot for the Tigers and his solid play kept Towson in the game until late in the second half. It was good to see the South Florida transfer find his outside touch.
"Coach told me before the game, 'Don't think about anything, just let the game come to you',” said Burwell. “That's what I think I did but it didn't help much because we didn't play good collectively. They (North Dakota State) played their principles really well. They doubled down on Jerrelle. We shot a lot of three's today and that wasn't in our game plan and it ultimately hurt us."
Towson returns to action on Wednesday night when they face Coppin State at 7:30pm.


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