Towson (1-1) at Eastern Kentucky (2-0)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, November 17, 6 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: McBrayer Arena (6,500) -- Richmond, Kentucky. Television: None. Home Record: Towson 0-0, EKU 2-0. Away Record: Towson 0-1, EKU 0-0. Neutral Record: Towson 1-0, EKU 0-0. Conference Record: Towson 0-0, EKU 0-0. Series Record: First-ever meeting.
GAME NOTES: The Comfort Suites Invitational will continue on Saturday, as the host Eastern Kentucky Colonels take on the Towson Tigers.
After dropping its opener against the College of Charleston on Nov. 9, 75-58, Towson bounced back on Friday night with a 75-67 win over Radford. The victory is a big deal for this Tigers club, as they have already matched their win total from the entire 2011-12 season.
Eastern Kentucky started the season with an 89-56 win over Cincinnati Christian, then it followed that up with an 85-71 defeat of Kennesaw State in the opener in this event on Friday night. As a result of the Colonels being the host team, they get to enjoy a seven-game homestand to start the season.
This game marks the first time these teams will have faced off against each another.
Eastern Kentucky has shot well to start the season, as it has recorded a field goal percentage greater than 52 percent in each of its first two contests, although its 7-of-25 effort from beyond the three-point line against Kennesaw State was disappointing. Glenn Cosey made a splash with 21 points on 6-of-11 shooting from the field, and he also contributed at the defensive end with four of the team's 10 steals. Corey Walden and Eric Stutz each put up 12 points, and Deverin Muff tallied 10 points and two blocked shots. Mike DiNunno registered just four points, but he was able to find the open man all night long with seven assists. The Colonels have done a good job of taking care of the ball in the early going with just 24 turnovers through two games, and at the other end of the court they have forced 42 miscues.
Towson was one of the worst shooting teams in the nation a year ago, and it showed why in the opener by connecting on just 36.8 percent of its field goal attempts against the College of Charleston, but it was able to bounce back nicely against Radford by making 46.7 percent. Despite the improvement, the Tigers nearly spoiled the game by putting together a dreadful effort from the free-throw line (12-of-28). After going scoreless in the opener, Marcus Damas put together one of the best all-around games of his career on Friday with 21 points on 6-of-11 shooting from the field, which included three treys, and he added six rebounds, three assists, two steals and a block. Jerrelle Benimon was hot on his heels with 19 points on an impressive 8-of-11 effort from the floor, but he also committed seven turnovers. Mike Burwell (10 points) rounded out the double-digit scorers for Towson, while Bilal Dixon pulled down a game- high 10 rebounds.
Victory has to feel good for the Tigers, who have plenty of players remaining from last year's one-win squad, but they will have their hands full with the host team in this one. Expect EKU to feed off the energy in the building and pull off the win.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Eastern Kentucky 64, Towson 58
11/17 10:35:21 ET