TOWSON, Md. – The Towson men’s basketball team is off to its
best start since the 1995-96 season after routing rival Delaware, 85-65, on
Wednesday night at the Towson Center Arena.
The Tigers have won three straight games to improve to 13-12 overall and 8-4 in the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA). The last time Towson was above .500 this late in the season was when the Tigers were 15-10 after 25 games in the 1995-96 season. The win also puts the Tigers in a second-place tie with James Madison in the CAA standings.
Junior forward Jerrelle Benimon registered his NCAA-leading 17th double-double with a game-high 21 points and 12 rebounds. He shot 9-for-14 from the field, including two of three from beyond the arc, and tied his career-high with five assists.
Three other Tigers scored in double figures as Towson improved to 10-1 in games when that occurs. Freshman guard Jerome Hairston posted 17 points, junior forward Marcus Damas recorded 16 points and eight rebounds and junior guard Mike Burwell netted 12 points and six boards. Graduate student Bilal Dixon hauled in a game-high 13 rebounds as the Tigers held a dominating 51-27 advantage on the glass.
Delaware (11-12, 6-4 CAA) shot just 17-for-59 (28.8%) from the field. The Blue Hens were aided by solid free throw shooting, going 24-for-32 (75.0%) from the line. Junior guard Devon Saddler, the leading scorer in the CAA, posted a team-high 20 points, but shot just 4-for-20 from the field. He went a perfect 10-for-10 from the free throw line.
Towson, which never trailed in the game, tallied the first 11 points of the contest and never looked back. Delaware missed its first eight shots and trailed by as many as 14 in the opening period. The Blue Hens would cut their deficit to 33-23 at halftime.
The start of the second half was very similar to the opening minutes of the game. Burwell scored the first five points of the period as the Tigers used a 7-0 run out of the intermission to go up 40-23 at the 18:24 mark.
The Towson lead grew to 21 points on a lay-up from Dixon that put the Tigers up 49-28 midway through the second half. Delaware would get no closer than 13 the rest of the way.
Towson shot 32-for-62 (51.5%) form the floor and 7-for-17 (41.2%) from beyond the arc. The Tigers had a 40-18 advantage in the paint, a 13-2 edge in second chance points and a 12-0 lead in fast break points.
The 85 points scored was the second highest total for Towson this season and the first time the Tigers have scored 80 points or more in consecutive games since a three-game stretch from February 24-March 5, 2010.
Towson returns to action on Saturday as the Tigers travel to Atlanta to take on Georgia State.