Northeastern (8-7) at Towson (8-8)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, January 12, 12 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Towson Center Arena (5,000) -- Towson. Maryland. Television: None. Home Record: Northeastern 2-5, Towson 1-2. Away Record: Northeastern 4-1, Towson 4-6. Neutral Record: Northeastern 2-1, Towson 3-0. Conference Record: Northeastern 3-0, Towson 3-0. Series Record: Northeastern leads, 14-11.
GAME NOTES: A game featuring the only two 3-0 teams in Colonial Athletic Association play takes place in Maryland on Saturday afternoon, as the Northeastern Huskies tangle with the Towson Tigers.
Northeastern has begun league play with three straight wins, including an overtime victory at Drexel on Tuesday. Now in his seventh season, head coach Bill Coen is just one win shy of becoming just the fourth coach in the program's 93-year history to win 100 games. Coen collected his 99th win in the Huskies' victory at Drexel on Jan. 8.
Towson enters the game on a four-game win streak. The Tigers, who won just one game a season ago (1-31), have defeated Oregon State, UNCW, and preseason- favorite Drexel on the road, before edging William & Mary at home in a double- overtime thriller during the current run.
Northeastern and Towson are meeting for the 26th time. The Huskies lead the all-time series, 14-11, which includes a 70-51 win on Feb. 14, 2012, in Boston in the last meeting. The programs first met on Jan. 2, 1981, with NU claiming an 81-80 win in the Fairfield Tournament. The teams met 13 times as members of the America East, and have met 11 times as CAA foes. Northeastern is 8-3 (8-2 regular season) against Towson in CAA play. The Huskies have won four straight games against the Tigers.
Sophomore standout Quincy Ford hit a double-clutch 3-pointer from the right wing with 1.9 seconds remaining to force overtime as Northeastern defeated preseason CAA favorite Drexel, 63-58, on Tuesday night in Philadelphia. With the win, Northeastern improves to 3-0 in CAA play for just the second time since joining the conference in 2005. Ford finished with 14 points and classmate Reggie Spencer scored a team-high 17 points to lead the Huskies to their first win at Drexel since 2009.
Senior guard Joel Smith leads Northeastern with 15.9 ppg. Joining Smith in double figures are senior Jonathan Lee (14.0 ppg), and sophomores Ford (12.7 ppg) and Reggie Spencer (11.7 ppg). Ford leads the team in rebounds (6.7 rpg). Lee is tops in the CAA in steals (2.0 spg) and second in assists (4.3 apg).
Towson outlasted William & Mary in double-overtime on Wednesday. Junior forward Jerrelle Benimon led the Tigers with his 10th double-double (26 points, 12 rebounds) of the year against the Tribe. He also blocked a career- high seven shots. Towson trailed by as many as 13 points in the second half and ended the game on an 11-2 run. A steal and bucket by sophomore Kris Walden with 18 seconds left forced the game into overtime. The Tigers tallied an impressive 21 points in the second overtime, connecting on 12 of 16 free throws in the final five minutes.
Junior forward Jerrelle Benimon, who ranks fifth in the country in both rebounding and double-doubles, is averaging 19.2 points, 13.8 rebounds, 4.0 blocks and 3.4 assists over his last five contests. Marcus Damas also averages in double-figures (10.5 ppg). Towson ranks second in the CAA and is 58th nationally with a +5.3 rebounding margin. Defensively, the Tigers lead the CAA and rank 29th nationally by averaging 5.6 blocked shots per game. The 65.6 points per game the Tigers are allowing is third-best in the CAA.
Towson's rebounding and strong defense should be the difference in this contest, as the Tigers remain the only undefeated team in conference play.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Towson 71, Northeastern 66
01/12 10:41:32 ET