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Tribe hunts down Tigers

27 January 2013 By Jesse Jones, Assistant Sports Editor No Comments

Towson dropped its third consecutive game Saturday night at the hands of fellow Colonial Athletic Association opponent William & Mary, 63-56.

The last time these two teams met on Jan. 9, Towson (10-12, 5-4 CAA) won in double overtime. Saturday’s game featured nine ties and a total of 21 lead changes. However, with 3:42 remaining in the game, the Tribe (8-11, 2-6 CAA) scored 11 of the final 13 points of the game to seal the victory and end the Tigers’ four-game road-winning streak.

“We certainly had opportunities to win the game,” Head Coach Pat Skerry said. “We had a difficult charging foul called against us and we had a six-foot shot that we didn’t put in. Kind of the story for the week, we could have won all three games. It came down to 90 seconds, we just haven’t found a way to get over the hump.”

Guard Marcus Thornton led William & Mary with a game-high 16 points, six rebounds and four assists.

“He’s very talented, he earned his points,” Skerry said. “He shot a low percentage but he’s a terrific player.”

Forwards Tim Rusthoven and Kyle Gaillard also had big games for William & Mary. Rusthoven recorded a “double-double” with 14 points and 10 rebounds, and Gaillard scored 14 points as well.

Junior guard Jerrelle Benimon was held without a “double-double” for the second consecutive game. Benimon scored 12 points and grabbed six rebounds.

As of Jan. 24, Benimon led the nation in “double-doubles” with 14 and was third in rebounding with an average of 11.5 per game, according to the NCAA.

“I think only he can keep himself off the glass,” Skerry said of Benimon. “You don’t lead the country in ‘double-doubles’ and all of a sudden people keep you off the glass. He’s a good enough player and a smart enough player where he’s got to make sure he gets to the glass.”

Junior forward/guard Marcus Damas led the Tigers with 13 points and seven rebounds, while freshman guard Jerome Hairston finished the game third in scoring for Towson with 11 points, all of which came in the first half.

“I thought Marcus was really good for us on both ends of the floor, especially late in the game,” Skerry said. “Jerome made some shots early in the game, which is good, but I thought Marcus had a really strong game.”

Graduate student starting center Bilal Dixon was limited to only 12 minutes of play because of foul trouble. Dixon failed to score a point and grabbed only two rebounds.

As a team, the Tigers shot 39.7 percent from the field for the game and made only 23.1 percent of their three-point attempts.

“We’re not shooting the ball great,” Skerry said. “We had a lot of wide open looks. Hopefully at some point we’re going to knock down some shots. We’ve had a stretch here where we’re shooting the ball poorly, especially from three-point land. In the conference, our percentage is not very good.”

Saturday night’s loss was the Tigers’ fourth game in eight days.

Towson will get a welcome three-day break between games. The team returns to action Wednesday night when it plays at Old Dominion. Tip off is scheduled for 7 p.m.

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