Towson (18-9) at Northeastern (9-18)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Thursday, February 20, 7 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Matthews Arena (5,066) -- Boston, Massachusetts. Television: CSN-MA+. Home Record: Towson 14-1, Northeastern 3-7. Away Record: Towson 4-7, Northeastern 4-8. Neutral Record: Towson 0-1, Northeastern 2-3. Conference Record: Towson 9-3, Northeastern 6-7. Series Record: Northeastern leads, 16-11.
GAME NOTES: The Towson Tigers will attempt to stay within striking distance in the Colonial Athletic Association race, as they take on the Northeastern Huskies in a conference clash at Matthews Arena on Thursday night.
The Tigers have won two straight and six of their last seven games to remain in the hunt in the CAA. Towson is coming off an important victory, routing league-leading Delaware on Monday, 78-63, to pull close to the Blue Hens (12-1) with a 9-3 league ledger.
The Huskies have struggled this season both in and out of the conference. The team has lost four of its last six games, but put on a defensive clinic in Saturday's 60-44 win at the College of Charleston. Despite the recent win, Northeastern is just 9-18 overall and 6-7 in the CAA.
Northeastern leads the all-time series 16-11 and is seeking a regular-season sweep after earning a 57-54 victory at Towson on Jan. 22.
The Tigers have been an effective offensive squad this season, averaging 72.7 ppg on a healthy .452 shooting. The team has also managed to hold a sizable +6.5 rebounding margin. Towson has struggled in forcing turnovers this season however, at just 8.3 per game, resulting in a -3.8 turnover margin. Jerrelle Benimon leads the way for Towson and is one of the conference's top players, ranking fourth in the CAA in scoring (18.8 ppg), first in rebounding (11.8 rpg) and fourth in assists (3.9 apg). However, his assist total is almost completely negated by his team-high 95 turnovers to date. Marcus Damas and Rafriel Guthrie add some scoring depth with 11.7 and 11.3 ppg, respectively.
Benimon recorded his NCAA-leading 18th double-double of the season with 25 points and season-high tying 18 rebounds in Towson's big win over Delaware. The win ended the Blue Hens' 13-game win streak. Mike Burwell poured in 17 points, while Guthrie added 15 and Timajh Parker-Rivera tallied 11.
Northeastern has a double-double machine of its own in the form of forward Scott Eatherton, who has 17 double-doubles to his credit this season. Eatherton, who shoots .566 from the floor, averages team-highs of 16.1 points and 10.3 rebounds per game. David Walker is the only other Husky with a double-digit scoring average at 11.6 ppg. Demetrius Pollard and Reggie Spencer check in just under the mark however, at 9.1 and 9.3 ppg, respectively.
The Huskies are coming off their best defensive performance in five years, as they limited the College of Charleston to a meager 44 total points. Eatherton was once again dominant in the frontcourt, going 9-of-13 from the floor and finishing with 22 points and 10 rebounds. Spencer added 15 points to the cause, while Walker chipped in with 10.
Towson has some momentum after its big win over Delaware and has plenty of motivation to even things up with Northeastern here.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Towson 74, Northeastern 63
02/20 10:32:47 ET