TOWSON, Md. – Led by senior Jerrelle Benimon’s seventh straight double-double, the Towson men’s basketball team defeated UNC Wilmington, 60-53, in the first ever Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) game played inside SECU Arena on Saturday afternoon.
With the win, Towson (10-6, 1-0 CAA) has won three straight games overall and 13 straight contests at home, tied for the 13th longest current home court winning streak in the country.
Benimon posted his seventh 20-point game of the year and fourth straight. The senior finished with 20 points and 17 rebounds, tied for his second highest rebounding total of the year. The forward also got to the free throw line 10 times for the third straight game, making eight of his attempts.
Sophomore Four McGlynn was the only other Tiger in double figures with 11 points, including three three-pointers.
Towson struggled from the field all game, shooting just 34.0 percent, its second lowest percentage of the year. The Tigers were aided by a season-low six turnovers while also holding UNC Wilmington (6-12, 0-3 CAA) to just 37.3 percent shooting.
The Seahawks raced out to a 7-1 lead less than four minutes into the game before Towson settled in. The Tigers scored 18 of the next 23 points and a three-pointer from freshman Marquis Marshall capped the spurt and put the home team up 19-12 with 8:12 remaining in the half.
UNCW used a 7-0 run to close the first half and enter intermission down just 26-24. The Seahawks tied the game on three separate occasions early in the second half but couldn’t get over the hump. Towson used an 8-0 run to go up 38-30 with 14:13 remaining and a Benimon jumper with just under five minutes to play gave the Tigers a 51-41 advantage, their largest lead of the game.
The Seahawks were able to get Towson’s lead down to four (57-53) with 55 seconds remaining, but the Tigers made three of four shots from the free throw line down the stretch to clinch the victory.
Senior guard Chris Dixon led the Seahawks with 17 points on 6-for-12 shooting. UNCW made just two of its 14 three-pointers attempted and got zero points off its bench.
The Tigers are 4-0 all-time against UNC Wilmington under Head Coach Pat Skerry.
Towson will play its first CAA road game on Tuesday at Drexel. The game, set to tip at 7 p.m., can be seen live on Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic Plus.