Towson (5-8) at UNC Wilmington (5-7)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, January 2, 7 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Trask Coliseum (5,100) -- Wilmington, North Carolina.
Television: Local. Home Record: Towson 0-2, UNCW 5-0. Away Record: Towson 2-6,
UNCW 0-7. Neutral Record: Towson 3-0, UNCW 0-0. Conference Record: Towson 0-0,
UNCW 0-0. Series Record: UNC Wilmington leads, 16-10.
GAME NOTES: Playing away from home for the 12th time in 14 games to begin the
2012-13 campaign, the Towson Tigers pay a visit to the UNC Wilmington Seahawks
for the Colonial Athletic Association opener for both squads on Wednesday.
Towson, which hosted North Dakota State and Coppin State in back-to-back
defeats during the middle of December, has traveled from one end of the
country to the other already. On Saturday, the team was in Corvallis, Oregon
tangling with Oregon State and somehow captured a 67-66 overtime win in order
to snap a four-game slide.
As for the Seahawks, a squad that is a perfect 5-0 at home thus far, they too
were in action over the weekend, but their outcome wasn't nearly as favorable
as they suffered a 72-60 setback against Campbell on the road. The loss was
the third in the last four games for a team that has come up empty in seven
road games this season.
UNC Wilmington leads the all-time series with the Tigers by a count of 16-10,
but last year Towson delivered a 66-61 win at home for the team's lone victory
A pair of free throws by Jerrelle Benimon tied the game against the Beavers at
60-60 with just over 30 seconds remaining in regulation and it was a jumper by
Marcus Damas in the waning moments of overtime that brought home the win for
the visiting Tigers. Benimon played the entire game, finishing with a monster
double-double that consisted of 20 points and 21 rebounds, followed by Damas
with 16 points, although the latter shot just 1-of-6 behind the 3-point line
and 5-of-15 from the floor overall. While generating a 20-20 game is not that
easy, Benimon is in fact the second player to turn the trick for the last 14
games for the Tigers after Robert Nwankwo tallied 27 points and 20 boards
during the CAA Tournament last season against Delaware. Because of the
outburst, Benimon is now averaging a double-double with 16.2 points and 11.6
rebounds per game, both of which pace the program through 13 games.
UNCW actually held a one-point lead at the break against the Fighting Camels,
but in the second half the visitors allowed Campbell to shoot 57.1 percent and
made just nine field goals of their own as they lost their grip and fell into
the loss column yet again. Keith Rendleman fought for 18 points and a team-
best 11 rebounds, while Craig Ponder tacked on another 12 points for a team
that turned the ball over 16 times and shot just 5-of-17 beyond the arc in the
losing cause. Rendleman, the team's leading scorer in each of the last three
games, is much like Benimon right now as he leads his team in scoring (16.2
ppg) and rebounding (9.7 rpg) and there isn't another double-digit scorer to
be found on the UNCW roster. Rendleman shoots a strong 52.9 percent from the
floor, but his 58.4 percent at the free-throw line makes him a liability in
close games for sure.
Chances are Rendleman and Benimon will cancel each other out, which means
someone else will have to step up and guide one of these teams to the win
column and that should be Damas, as long as Towson doesn't have a let-down
after such a big win.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Towson 66, UNC Wilmington 62
01/02 10:32:15 ET
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