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College of Charleston (12-12) at Towson (15-8)



The Sports Network

DATE & TIME: Saturday, February 8, 2 p.m. (ET)

FACTS & STATS: Site: SECU Arena (5,200) -- Towson, Maryland. Television: CSN-MA. Home Record: CofC 7-5, Towson 12-1. Away Record: CofC 4-5, Towson 3-6. Neutral Record: CofC 1-2, Towson 0-1. Conference Record: CofC 4-5, Towson 6-2. Series Record: Series is tied, 2-2.

GAME NOTES: The Towson Tigers will try to continue their winning ways this afternoon, as they welcome the College of Charleston Cougars to SECU Arena for a Colonial Athletic Association tilt.

Charleston has dropped three of its last four outings, including Wednesday's 67-64 setback at Delaware. The Cougars are 4-5 in league play as a first-year CAA member after moving over from the Southern Conference. Following this contest, they'll return to campus for a three-game homestand.

Meanwhile, Towson boasts a 12-1 record on its home floor this season. The Tigers have won the first three legs of a four-game homestand, which ends today. Most recently, they notched an 80-71 victory over James Madison on Tuesday night.

Towson cruised to a 72-57 road victory when these teams met up on Jan. 19. The all-time series is tied, 2-2.

With less than nine minutes to play in Wednesday's game, Charleston held a commanding 20-point lead over a Delaware squad that had won 12 straight and was still unbeaten in league play. However, the Cougars went on to commit a season-high 26 turnovers for the game as UD rallied all the way back and eventually won it. Defensively, they had no answer for Blue Hens guard Davon Usher, who erupted for 42 points and seven steals. It was undoubtedly a tough pill to swallow for a Charleston team that shot a healthy 58 percent from the floor and held a huge 38-17 rebounding advantage. Adjehi Baru pulled down a game-high 10 boards in the loss and scored 11 points to share team-high honors with Anthony Stitt (10.8 ppg). Willis Hall (12.3 ppg, 9.3 rpg), CofC's top scorer and rebounder, finished with as many turnovers (7) as points.

Headlining Towson's roster is big man Jerrelle Benimon, who averages a double- double with 18.5 points and 11.5 rebounds per game. A 52 percent shooter from the floor, Benimon is the nation's No. 4 rebounder. Marcus Damas (12.4 ppg, 5.1 rpg) also helps out on the boards and is a 41 percent shooter from the perimeter (39-of-96). Rafriel Guthrie is third on the team in scoring with 11.6 ppg despite coming off the bench in every game this season. In Tuesday's win over defending league champ JMU, Benimon recorded his NCAA-best 15th double-double of the campaign with 16 points and 15 boards. Guthrie had a team-high 17 points in just 23 minutes of action, while Mike Burwell scored 14 and Damas finished with 10. As a team, the Tigers shot 9-of-19 from beyond the arc.

Towson's turnaround has been nothing short of remarkable, considering the program is less than two years removed from a 1-31 season. In fact, the Tigers are off to their best start to this point since 1993-94. Charleston faces a tough task trying to pull off the upset inside SECU Arena.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Towson 81, College of Charleston 69

02/08 10:22:26 ET

Local & North Carolina state news from Raleigh, NC | NewsObserver.com
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