Towson unable to hold off Temple
In its final road game of a 10-game road swing, Towson fell to the Temple Owls 72-61 Wednesday evening.
The Owls (7-1) were lifted by a team effort. Four players scored in double figures, including Rahlir Hollis-Jefferson, who led the Owls with 20 points.
Scootie Randall contributed 13 points and a game-high five assists for Temple, while Khalif Wyatt scored 11 and Anthony Lee added 10.
“Temple is very good, their only loss was to Duke,” Head Coach Pat Skerry said. “Our defensive effort was terrific. They’re a good club.”
Junior forward Jerrelle Benimon recorded his sixth “double-double” of the season for the Tigers (4-6). Benimon recorded career-highs in points with 30 and rebounds with 18.
Junior guard/forward Marcus Damas was second on the team in scoring and rebounds with 11 points and six boards.
“Marcus played hard,” Skerry said. “He guarded well. I thought he was really good tonight. He played hard.”
While Randall recorded five assists on his own for Temple, Towson as a team managed only four assists, and turned the ball over 19 times.
“Our ball movement is obviously not where it needs to be,” Skerry said. “I think like a lot of newer, young teams, we still have to understand that it’s not all about making a jump shot, there’s other things you can do.”
During the road swing, the Tigers had close losses to Loyola (8-3), No. 15 Georgetown (7-1) and Temple (7-1). They upset Vermont (6-3), who advanced to the second round of the NCAA tournament last season.
“I’m of really proud of where we’re at defensively,” Skerry said. “The way we’re defending and rebounding is a formula to win in conference play. We’ve got some competitors. I would like to be a little than where we are. We’ve obviously played a tremendously hard schedule.”
Towson will have its home opener Saturday, Dec. 15, as the Tigers take on the North Dakota State Bison who have a record of 8-3.
It will be the first of two straight home games for the Tigers, something that Skerry says the team is looking forward to.
“We’re excited to be back home,” he said. “Hopefully we’ll get a lot of students out to the game. These guys definitely deserve some support for how hard they’ve worked on and off the court.”
In Saturday’s match-up against the Bison, Towson will have to prepare for Taylor Braun, who is averaging 15.8 points per game and 45.7 percent from three-point range.
“North Dakota is very good, they’ll obviously be the favorite,” Skerry said. “We’re going to have to play extremely well to compete with them.”
Tip off for Saturday’s game is scheduled for 7 p.m.