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Towson finishes 3-1 in 2012 Comfort Suites Invitational

19 November 2012 By Jesse Jones, Assistant Sports Editor No Comments

Towson won its final two games of the 2012 Comfort Suites Invitational in Richmond, Ky., finishing the tournament with a 3-1 record and improving its overall record to 3-2.

Sunday night, Towson beat Kennesaw State 69-63 and defeated the Cincinnati Christian Owls Monday by a score of 79-40. The 39-point margin of victory was the largest since Towson defeated Buffalo 122-58 in 1992.

“What’s becoming a trend and hopefully a staple for us is our defensive numbers and our rebounding numbers are pretty good,” Head Coach Pat Skerry said. “When you do those two things, more often than not you’re going to win basketball games. Especially us. We have the talent on the offensive end.”

The Tigers played four games in four days, much like an Amateur Athletic Union tournament. According to Skerry, the players embraced the challenge.

“Players like to play games and our guys are no different,” he said.  “We focused, we prepared. I think our guys had fun with it.”

Against Kennesaw State, junior forward Jerrelle Benimon led Towson with his second straight “double-double.” Benimon scored 18 points and grabbed 13 rebounds. He also added five blocks to go along with three assists and a steal.

Freshman point guard Jerome Hairston also had an impressive performance, as he scored 15 points on 5-8 shooting from the field.

“[Jerome] is very talented and he’s playing the hardest position on the floor,” Skerry said. “He’s doing a good job with it. He’s competitive, talented, and a willing learner. The big thing about him is that he has moxy.  He can really make plays in the open floor. He’s not afraid to make big shots and make big plays. He’ll continue to get better.”

The Tigers never trailed against the Owls and led by as many as 15. They also outscored the Owls 28-18 in the paint and out-rebounded them 31-24.

Monday’s game against Cincinnati Christian was an all-around team effort.

Four players scored in double-digits for the Tigers.

Junior guard Mike Burwell led all scorers with 18. Junior forward Marcus Damas added 12, and graduate forward/center Bilal Dixon and sophomore guard Kris Walden each scored 10 points.

Along with his 10 points, Dixon grabbed 11 rebounds and had six blocks.

“It was good to get [Bilal] going today,” Skerry said. “He was very good defensively. We need to go back a little bit and add some things to get him some touches around the basket. Certainly with his size and strength he can be a big factor for us.”

As a team, the Tigers had 10 blocks and had 10 steals.

Towson outrebounded its opponents every game of the tournament and got off to 5-0 starts in each of the final three games of the tournament.

Towson will have the upcoming week off to prepare for cross-town rival Loyola. The Tigers will face the Greyhounds in Reitz Arena on Nov. 26 at 7:30 p.m.

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