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Tigers turn down Pride 57-50

17 February 2013 By Jesse Jones, Assistant Sports Editor No Comments

Towson bounced back from its five-point defeat at James Madison, beating Hofstra University 57-50 in its final game of a three-game road stretch Saturday evening.

The Tigers (15-13, 10-5 Colonial Athletic Association) shot 51.2 percent from the field against the Pride (6-20, 3-10 CAA), including 66.7 percent from the field in the second half.

Saturday night’s game marked the fourth time in the past five games that Towson shot better than 50 percent from the field for the game. Towson also recorded 14 assists on 21 made field goals.

“I think we showed some pretty good balance,” Head Coach Pat Skerry said. “When we get the ball inside we score. The only thing that really hurt us was turnovers. We have the ability to dominate in what we call the ‘red zone’ and we utilized that to our advantage.”

Towson continued its strong performance defensively, as it outrebounded Hofstra 41-25. Junior guard/forward Marcus Damas and freshman forward Timajh Parker-Rivera led the Tigers with eight rebounds each.

“I thought Timajh Parker was tremendous,” Skerry said. “He was all over the place. He gave us a big, big boost. He has the chance to be a really good player here. It wasn’t the best we’ve played but our defensive numbers and our rebounding margin was tremendous.”

Junior forward Jerrelle Benimon led the Tigers with a game-high 17 points, along with seven rebounds, two assists and two blocks.

Along with his eight rebounds, Damas added 11 points. Junior guard Rafriel Guthrie scored nine points, and graduate forward Bilal Dixon continued his solid play by scoring eight points and recording six rebounds.

Guard Stevie Mejia led the Pride with 13 points, seven steals and four assists. Forward Moussa Kone added 11 points off the bench.

“[Mejia] is a terrific player,” Skerry said. “I actually recruited him when I was an assistant at Rhode Island. He’s tough. He shoots it, he drives it, he knows how to get fouled. He’s a really good player. You hope to make him take tough twos all night long.”

Towson got out to an early advantage, leading Hofstra by as many as nine points with 5:41 remaining in the first half. The Tigers, however, went on a drought for the next 9:10, not scoring a field goal in that span.

“We turned the ball over and we three buckets on out-of-bounds plays which is really uncharacteristic,” Skerry said. “We just, at times, get away from things that have given us success.”

After a back-and-forth battle for the first seven minutes of the second half, Towson grabbed a 34-31 lead after Benimon hit a three-pointer.

The Tigers never looked back from there, expanding their lead by as many as 10 points en route to the team’s 10th conference victory.

“Any game on the road is a hard game,” Skerry said. “We were able to hang in there and get over the hump and get the thing done.”

The Tigers will have a week off before they return home for the first time since Feb. 6. when they host Drexel Feb. 23.

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