GAME NOTES: After starting the season with 10 consecutive road contests, the
Towson Tigers finally play their home opener on Saturday night against North
Dakota State. It is the first meeting between these two schools on the
Towson has lost its last two contests, against Georgetown, 46-40, a week ago,
and at Temple, 72-61, on Wednesday. Jerrelle Benimon had a monster performance
against the Owls as he finished with career-highs of 30 points and 18
rebounds. Marcus Damas added 11 points and three steals. Benimon, the reigning
Colonial Athletic Association co-Player of the Week, has been dominant of
late. He is averaging 21.8 points and 15.0 rebounds in his last four games.
Freshman Jerome Hairston (9.4 ppg), Damas (8.6 ppg), Mike Burwell (8.3 ppg)
and Bilal Dixon (6.4 ppg) make up the remainder of the starting five on a team
that is first in the CAA in field goal percentage defense (.387). The Tigers
are also limiting opponents to just 62.9 ppg, which is second in the league.
Also, Towson has not lost a rebounding battle since the season opener, and has
tied or out-rebounded opponents in 21 of its last 24 contests dating back to
Since losing to No. 1 Indiana on Nov. 12, North Dakota State has won seven of
its last nine games. The Bison fell, 70-57, at 13th-ranked Minnesota on
Tuesday. Lawrence Alexander had 19 points and six assists, while Taylor Braun
added 15 points on 6-of-12 shooting, as North Dakota State had a three-game
win streak stopped. Marshall Bjorklund contributed 12 points and six boards in
the setback. Braun (15.8), Bjorklund (11.5) and Alexander (10.0) all average
double figures in scoring, and Braun (6.1) is the leading rebounder on a team
that is outscoring its opponents by an average of nearly 13 points a game.
Mike Felt is a solid contributor off the bench and is shooting 42.3 percent
from 3-point range. North Dakota State defeated CAA foe James Madison, 66-44,
on Nov. 21.
Towson, which has won five of its last six home openers, will play seven of
its next 11 games as the host. The Tigers are 12-2 in home openers over the
last 14 years. Expect a tight battle with Benimon playing a big role in
pushing the Tigers over the top. This will also mark the final home opener in
the current Towson Center, as the brand new Tiger Arena is set to open in the
spring and will be ready for next season.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Towson 64, North Dakota State 63