TOWSON, Md. – Junior forward Jerrelle Benimon scored a game-high 20 points and grabbed 12 rebounds for his 16th double-double of the season as the Tigers evened their overall record at 12-12 with an 81-68 Colonial Athletic Association victory over UNC Wilmington on Monday night.
The Tigers’ second win in a row enabled Towson to reach the .500 mark. This is the Tigers’ best 24-game record since 2006-07 when Towson was also 12-12.
The victory also enabled Towson to move into a tie for third-place in the CAA standings with a 7-4 league record. The Tigers’ seven CAA wins are their highest total since they went 7-11 in league games five years ago.
Benimon, who shot 8-for-10 from the floor, led the Tigers to their second-best shooting performance of the season. Towson made 30 of 57 shots from the field for a .526 percentage against the Seahawks.
The Tigers, who never trailed in the second half, used an 11-0 run midway through the final period to put the game out of reach. With the Tigers leading 54-48 with 12:45 remaining, junior Marcus Damas sparked the 11-0 spurt by scoring five straight points. That gave Towson a 65-48 advantage with 8:52 left to play.
Towson gradually extended its lead to 77-53 with 4:54 remaining on a layup by Damas, who scored 12 points, all in the second half. From that point on, Coach Pat Skerry emptied his bench as UNCW scored the final six points of the contest.
The Tigers closed out the first half with a 7-0 run that was capped off
by a buzzer beater by freshman guard Jerome Hairston that gave Towson a
42-32 advantage at the intermission. Led by Hairston’s 14 first-half points, the
Tigers shot 57.1 percent from the floor in the opening period.
Benimon was one of four Tigers to score in double figures. Hairston shot 7-for-15 from the field as he netted a career-high 18 points while Damas added 12 points, five rebounds and two blocked shots. Junior guard Rafriel Guthrie came off the bench to add 14 points as he shot 4-for-5 from the field and connected on both of his three-point attempts.
Senior Keith Rendleman led the Seahawks (8-14, 3-7 CAA) with 19 points and 12
rebounds. The loss was UNCW’s third in a row. It also marked the Seahawks’
third consecutive loss to Towson.
The Tigers return to action on Wednesday, Feb. 6 when they host
second-place Delaware in the Towson Center at 7:00 p.m. The game will be broadcast live on Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic.