TOWSON, Md. – Junior Marcus Damas tallied a team-high 16 points and classmate Jerrelle Benimon recorded his seventh double-double of the season, but it wasn't enough as the Towson men's basketball team fell, 64-61, to Coppin State on Wednesday.
The Tigers (4-8) shot 52.0 percent in the second half, but were hurt by 17 turnovers. Coppin State (3-9) grabbed 19 offensive rebounds and attempted 15 more shots than Towson.
Benimon, who ranks fifth in the country in double-doubles, posted 13 points on 5-for-7 shooting while grabbing a game-high 12 rebounds. He also added four blocked shots and three assists to his stat line.
Trailing 58-51 with three minutes to play, the Tigers cut their deficit to 60-57 when Damas and sophomore Kris Walden hit back-to-back three-pointers. With 1:43 left, Benimon scored on a rebound layup to pull Towson to within 60-59.
In the final minute of the game, freshman guard Jerome Hairston knocked the ball away from Troy Franklin, but the Eagles called time out after Michael Murray barely kept the ball from going out of bounds with 30 seconds left. With the shot clock winding down, Murray hit a very difficult 12-foot fade-away jumper to give the Eagles a 62-59 lead with 24 seconds left.
With nine seconds remaining, Damas scored on a layup off a
pass from Hairston to pull Towson to within 62-61. One second later, Murray was
fouled and hit both free throws to give Coppin a 64-61 advantage. Damas missed
a three-pointer at the buzzer that would have sent the game into overtime.
In the second half, the score was tied six times and there were four lead changes.
The Eagles scored 20 points off turnovers and held a 22-13 advantage in second chance points.
Patrick Cole led Coppin with 16 points while Murray added 15 points and a team-high nine rebounds.
Towson freshman Timajh Parker-Rivera hit all three of his shot attempts to finish with seven points and three rebounds in 17 minutes. Junior Rafriel Guthrie came off the bench to chip in nine points, including 5-for-6 shooting from the free throw line.
The Tigers will break for the holidays before returning to the road to take on Oregon State on December 29.