Towson (16-8) at UNC Wilmington (6-19)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Monday, February 10, 7 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Trask Coliseum (6,100) -- Wilmington, North Carolina. Television: None. Home Record: Towson 13-1, UNCW 3-7. Away Record: Towson 3-6, UNCW 3-12. Neutral Record: Towson 0-1, UNCW 0-0. Conference Record: Towson 7-2, UNCW 0-10. Series Record: UNC Wilmington leads, 16-13.
GAME NOTES: The Seahawks of UNC Wilmington try yet again for their first win against a Colonial Athletic Association opponent, as they host the Towson Tigers at Trask Coliseum on Monday night.
Not only have the Seahawks come up empty in 10 tries against the rest of the CAA, they've now fallen in 14 consecutive decisions following a 61-52 setback versus Hofstra on Saturday night in New York. The squad has a total of just three wins at home, and two of those have come against programs outside of Division I (Wingate and Campbellsville).
While UNCW is all alone at the bottom of the conference standings, the Tigers are second behind only undefeated Delaware as of Sunday. Towson played its first overtime affair of 2013-14 on Saturday and came out on top with a 68-61 triumph versus Charleston to finish off its homestand a perfect 4-0.
Towson won the first meeting of the season last month at home with a 60-53 decision, as Jerrelle Benimon exploded for a huge double-double consisting of 20 points and 17 rebounds. With the victory, the Tigers closed the gap in the all-time series and now trail by just three games, 16-13.
Considering the Tigers shot just 5-of-17 from the floor in the first half against Charleston, the hosts had to feel somewhat lucky to get the game into overtime and then shoot a perfect 3-of-3 from the floor and sink 9-of-10 at the free-throw line. Benimon was again the star of the show for Towson with his 20 points and seven rebounds, although his 10-of-17 showing at the charity stripe was a little shaky. Mike Burwell and Rafriel Guthrie chipped in with 14 and 12 points, respectively.
Benimon has been a beast for the Tigers this season, starting all 24 games and averaging a double-double with 18.5 points and 11.3 rebounds per contest, one of only a handful of players in the nation reaching both of those heights currently. But not only does Benimon aim for glory on his own, he is more than willing to get his teammates involved in the action as well, thanks to his team-high 92 assists. Marcus Damas and Guthrie have surely been recipients of Benimon's generosity as they are averaging 12.3 and 11.6 ppg, respectively.
The Seahawks appeared to be well on their way to victory on Saturday as they shot 65.2 percent from the field in the first half and led by as many as 15 points in the second frame against Hofstra on the road, but it simply wasn't meant to be. As is par for the course for a team that is sliding away into obscurity, UNCW made a total of just five field goals in the second half and tallied a mere 17 points, en route to the nine-point setback. Freddie Jackson was the only double-digit scorer for the visitors with 15 points off the bench.
In the last seven games, the Seahawks have had a total of six different leading scorers which says more about their inconsistency than it does about their balanced offensive attack. Jackson may have been the high man on Saturday, but for the season he is averaging only 7.0 ppg as he shoots 29.3 percent behind the 3-point line. Cedrick Williams (13.4 ppg) and Addison Spruill (10.2 ppg) have the potential to have decent outings, but with the latter hitting a feeble 22.2 percent out on the perimeter, it has brought the entire team down to only 25.3 percent beyond the arc through 25 games.
The fact that UNCW looked so good for the first 30 minutes of the game against Hofstra and then fell off the map is a clear indication that a win in conference play is a long way off for the Seahawks.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Towson 72, UNC Wilmington 59
02/10 10:39:32 ET