Towson (25-10) at Murray State (20-11)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Thursday, March 27, 8 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: CFSB Center (6,150) -- Murray, Kentucky. Television: None. CollegeInsider.com Tournament Record: Towson 2-0, Murray State 2-0. Series Record: Series is tied, 1-1.
GAME NOTES: The last quarterfinal match of the CollegeInsiders.com Tournament will take place Thursday between the Towson Tigers and the Murray State Racers at CFSB Center to determine the last semifinal participant.
Towson has won two games in a row in the CIT, having defeated USC Upstate in the first round, then most recently took down East Tennessee State, 83-77, to make it to the quarterfinals. The Tigers have won nine of their last 10 games overall headed into this matchup.
Murray State just narrowly knocked off Missouri State in the first round of the CIT, but then turned around and routed Nebraska Omaha, 86-62, on Monday.
The all-time series between the two programs is tied at 1-1, although they have not met on the court in over 30 years.
For just a six-point victory over the East Tennessee State Buccaneers last Friday, Towson played a pretty favorable contest. The Tigers outshot the Bucs, 50.9 percent to 39.7 percent, and had a 21-10 edge at the free-throw line. Four McGlynn buried six of his seven 3-point tries in the contest and led Towson with 23 points, while Mike Burwell was second in the scoring category for the Tigers at 13 points with five assists. Jerrelle Benimon netted 12 points with eight rebounds and a team-high six assists, and Rafriel Guthrie chipped in 12 points of his own.
Benimon had an absolutely stellar season for Towson, as the forward averaged a double-double through 35 games played with 18.7 ppg and 11.3 rpg. He also enters the game against Murray State as the team's leading passer, having dished out a team-high 129 assists. At 24 total steals on the year, Benimon tops the Tigers squad, and his 42 blocked shots is just two shy of Timajh Parker-Rivera's 44. Guthrie (11.5 ppg) and Marcus Damas (11.2 ppg) are behind Benimon in scoring, and Burwell chips in 10.6 points per outing.
Things got pretty ugly for Nebraska Omaha against Murray State in Tennessee. The Mavericks shot just 36.9 percent from the floor in the contest, while the Racers connected on 49.2 percent of their tries. Five Murray State players recorded a scoring total in double figures, led by Jeffery Moss' 17 points. Freshman Cameron Payne netted 15 points with six assists, and Jonathan Fairell tallied a double-double with 14 points and 13 rebounds. Jarvis Williams contributed 14 points of his own, and T.J. Sapp came off the bench to score 10 for the Racers.
Payne's top-notch first season at Murray State continues, and he'll get a chance to show off his offensive prowess against a very tough Towson defense. Payne leads the team in scoring at 16.2 ppg, also topping the Racers squad in assists with 168 on the year. Williams was a double-double machine this season, as he enters the game against the Tigers with a 14.6 ppg average and a 10.2 rpg mark, adding 50 blocked shots to his resume. Sapp adds 13.8 ppg for Murray State, and Moss chips in 13.5 ppg for a team netting an impressive 77.4 points per outing.
Murray State was a fierce competitor at home this season, having only lost once in 15 games at CFSB Center. Towson however, is a different type of team, with athletic guards that drive to the basket and a big man in Benimon who can contribute from anywhere on the floor. It'll be a tough battle, but the home crowd of CFSB Center will prove to be a useful asset for the Racers in the end.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Murray State 75, Towson 73
03/27 10:27:22 ET