TOWSON, Md. – Preseason CAA Player of the Year Jerrelle Benimon registered a game-high 20 points to lead Towson to a 68-61 overtime thriller over College of Charleston on Saturday afternoon at SECU Arena.
Benimon scored seven of his points in the extra period going 3-for-4 from the free throw line. He also made a layup in traffic to give Towson a five-point cushion, 61-56, with 1:15 remaining in regulation.
Redshirt freshman guard Canyon Barry (Colorado Springs, Colo.) hit a three-pointer with 21 seconds left, 64-61, but the Tigers made four-straight free throws thereafter to keep the game out of reach.
Barry, playing in only his third game since missing eight contests with a finger injury to his right shooting hand, registered a team-high 14 points in the loss. He was joined in double figures by graduate senior forward Willis Hall (Charlotte, N.C.), who had a 13-point and 8-rebound effort in the rematch with the preseason league favorite.
For the game, the Tigers made 30-of-44 attempts from the charity stripe, while the Cougars went 11-of-18. Both squads played a solid floor game with CofC committing a season-low five turnovers against the league’s third-best defense.
Towson trailed CofC at halftime, 27-24, after a low-scoring first half that saw both teams’ defenses create problems for good opportunities for open looks and shot selections. Four McGlynn ended the scoring drought with two made free throws at the 16:09 minute mark.
Mike Burwell contributed 14 points for the Tigers, while Rafriel Guthrie added 12. Towson, who ranked No. 32 in the nation in field-goal percentage defense (39.7%) prior to the contest, held the Cougars to 31.9 percent shooting from the floor (22-of-69) and 22.2 percent shooting from three (6-of-27).
CofC will return home for a three-game homestand beginning with a Black Out game scheduled against Drexel (13-10, 5-5 CAA) on Thursday, Feb. 13 at 7 p.m. (ET) at TD Arena. The game will be televised live nationally on the NBC Sports Network.
· For the seventh time this season and seventh-straight CAA game, the Cougars started junior guard Anthony Stitt, senior combo guard Nori Johnson, senior small forward Anthony Thomas, graduate senior forward Willis Hall and junior forward Adjehi Baru (2-5).
· With the win, Towson claims the regular-season series sweep of College of Charleston and now leads 3-2 in the all-time series.
· CofC went into overtime for the second time this season next to 67-58 loss to UNC Asheville on Nov. 15 (0-2).
· Redshirt freshman guard Canyon Barry came off the bench and registered a team-high 14 points in 28 minutes of action – the most minutes in his three games since returning the lineup after missing eight games with a finger injury to his shooting (right) hand. It was first game in double figures since scoring 11 points versus Coker on Dec. 12.
· Willis Hall reached double figures for the seventh time in eight consecutive games with 13 points and a game-high eight rebounds against Towson. Hall has tabulated 1,067 career points to date.
· The Cougars committed a season-low five turnovers with 11 assists for a 2.2 assist-to-turnover ratio against the Tigers. It was one less than the team’s previous low of six against UNC Asheville on Nov. 15.
· For the sixth consecutive game, the Cougars outrebounded their opponents, 43-34 (+9). They have now outboarded the opposition in 17-of-25 games of the season. CofC entered the ballgame ranked No. 31 in the nation in rebounding margin (+5.8).
College of Charleston Head Coach Doug Wojcik
On the game …
“We played a good game on the road today. They (Towson) just made more plays down the stretch. I couldn’t have asked for a better effort from our guys.”