Blue Hensí Winning Streak Comes To An End as Towson Posts 78-63 CAA Menís Basketball Victory Over Delaware
TOWSON, Md. -- Towson senior forward Jerrelle Benimon scored 25 points and grabbed 18 rebounds as the Tigers ended the University of Delaware’s winning streak with a 78-63 Colonial Athletic Association men’s basketball victory Monday night at SECU Arena.
The Tigers, who won their second straight game, improved to 18-9 overall and 9-3 in the league as Towson remained in second place in the conference standings, two games behind the league-leading Blue Hens.
Delaware, which dropped to 19-8 overall and 11-1 in conference play, had its 13-game winning streak snapped, which had been the sixth longest active run in Division I. The Blue Hens, who also lost their first CAA road game in nine outings dating back to last season, had their 15-game regular season CAA winning streak snapped.
Benimon finished 9 of 15 from the field and also handed out five assists, while recording his Division I leading 18th double-double of the campaign. Mike Burwell contributed 17 points and seven rebounds on the night, while Rafriel Guthrie chipped in with 15 points. Timajh Parker-Rivera was the fourth Tiger in double figures with 11 points to go with nine rebounds.
Blue Hen senior Davon Usher (at left), who earned his second consecutive CAA Player of the Week award earlier in the day, again led Delaware with 24 points while going 12 of 15 from the free throw line. Devon Saddler added 18 points and had all four Blue Hen assists during the contest, while Carl Baptiste (below right) posted his second consecutive double-double with 10 points and a team-best 12 rebounds.
Delaware struggled from the field for most of the evening, finishing just 19 of 60 (31.7 percent) from the field including 4 of 20 from three-point range. Meanwhile Towson went 28 of 63 (44.4 percent) from the floor and held a 50-38 rebounding edge, including 21 offensive caroms.
“Congratulations to Towson, they played very well and were sharp tonight,” said Blue Hen head coach Monté Ross. “They outplayed us and outcoached us, and did just about everything better than we did. We weren’t as sharp as we needed to be tonight to win on the road. I thought our first shot defense was pretty good, but we just gave up too many offensive rebounds.”
Two Usher free throws put Delaware in front 8-7 early on, but the Tigers went on a 15-6 spurt to take an eight-point lead seven and a half minutes into the contest. However Delaware answered with a 10-2 run, knotting the game at 24-24 when Saddler found Baptiste for an emphatic dunk.
Later in the half a six-point Delaware run gave the Blue Hens a 30-28 lead, but the Tigers responded with a 9-2 spurt and led the rest of the way. Saddler drained a pair of foul shots to bring Delaware within three, before Benimon scored four more points to send Towson into the locker room leading 41-34.
The teams traded baskets early in the second half before the Tigers eventually took a double figure lead at 53-43 on a Marcus Damas foul shot with 13:35 to play. The Blue Hens closed to within five after two Usher foul shots at the 9:06 mark and were still only down six at 63-57 following a deep three-pointer by Usher with 7:19 to play.
But Towson responded with a decisive 10-0 run, going up 73-57 on a putback by Parker-Rivera with 3:50 on the clock. Usher countered with six straight points to bring Delaware to within 10 at the 2:36 mark, but the Blue Hens would not threaten from there.