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Tigers snap four-game win streak against 7-19 UNCW

10 February 2014 By Jesse Jones, Sports Editor No Comments

Coming into Monday night’s game at North Carolina-Wilmington, Towson was riding a four-game win streak, while UNCW was in search of its first conference win.

The Tigers were 4-0 against the Seahawks under Head Coach Pat Skerry – including the lone win of the 2011-12 season – and had already beaten UNCW 60-53 on Jan. 11 at SECU Arena.

However, Towson’s four-game winning streak and undefeated mark against UNCW came to an end Monday night, as the Seahawks earned their first conference win of the season with a 66-53 win over the visiting Tigers.

“Credit to Wilmington. They were hungrier,” Head Coach Pat Skerry said. “We were outplayed and we were out-prepared. They deserved to win.”

It was a rough night offensively for Towson (16-9, 7-3 Colonial Athletic Association). While senior Jerrelle Benimon picked up his 16th double-double of the season with 17 points and 16 rebounds and senior forward Marcus Damas added 11 points and 10 rebounds, the rest of the unit struggled.

The Tigers shot just 34.5 percent (19-of-55) from the field and made just 3-of-20 (15 percent) of their three point attempts.

“We continue against zones to want to take a lot of three-point shots, and that’s not a good formula for us,” Skerry said.

Senior guard Mike Burwell and sophomore guard Four McGlynn combined for just six points on a combined 2-of-12 from the field and one assist.

The Tigers also got just 12 points off the bench compared to 24 from the Seahawks (7-19, 1-10 CAA) and turned the ball over 11 times while the Seahawks committed just one turnover.

Ball movement was also a problem for Towson, who recorded just three assists.

“Our ball movement wasn’t good. Just because a couple of guys had numbers doesn’t mean they played well,” Skerry said. “Our shot selection wasn’t good. Our ball movement wasn’t good and we fouled a lot at the end of the [shot clock].”

Senior guard Chris Dixon, junior guard Freddie Jackson and sophomore forward Dylan Sherwood provided the spark for UNCW.

Dixon and Sherwood finished with a team-high 14 points each, and Jackson scored11 points and grabbed six rebounds.

“They really made some timely three-point shots. They’re a team statistically that’s not a good three-point shooting team,” Skerry said. “The Sherwood kid made a couple tough ones at the end of the clock.”

The Seahawks shot 40.7 percent (22-of-54) from the field and made 38.9 percent (7-of-18) of their three-point attempts.

Towson will have a couple of days to prepare for William & Mary. The Tribe are tied with the Tigers for second-place in the CAA and the two teams split both games last season.

Junior guard Marcus Thornton leads the Tribe with 20 points per game, the same number he averaged in two meetings against the Tigers last year.

Thornton is the top scorer in the CAA and is second in the conference in three-point percentage (.422) and first in three-pointers made with 73.

“Thornton is a potential pro in my opinion. He can get a shot whenever he wants, so we’re not going to be able to stop him,” Skerry said. “If we play with the lack of discipline we had tonight, he’ll get 40 points. He’s that good.”

“They’re very good. We’re going to have to play much, much better than we did tonight to get a ballgame down there,” Skerry said.

Tip-off from Williamsburg, Va. is scheduled for 4 p.m. and can be seen on Comcast SportsNet.

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