The Colonial Athletic Association took center-stage Monday night when Delaware visited Towson for a nationally televised game on the NBC Sports Network.
Both teams came into tonight's game with a lot on the line. Delaware could win their fourteenth straight game and lock up the number one seed in the CAA with a win. Meanwhile, Towson was trying to catch up with the 11-0 Blue Hens and avenge an 83-76 loss in Newark earlier this year.
The atmosphere at Towson was great tonight as the Tiger's student section packed the building in Baltimore and plenty of Blue Hen fans seemed to make the one hour drive to Baltimore.
The first half was the intense back-and-forth affair that we all expected. Delaware jumped out to an early 6-2 lead but did not see a lead again until the 5:13 mark when Devon Saddler converted a layup to give the Blue Hens a 30-28 lead. The new Blue Hen lead inspired Pat Skerry's Tigers to put the pedal down to end the half and ended up with a 41-34 lead thanks to 15 points and 9 rebounds from Jerrelle Benimon.
The Tigers kept that pedal down and the second half and seemed like they were not going to open the door for a Blue Hens comeback. The moment when this game really could have got away from the Blue Hens was when Mike Burwell had a monster baseline jam to give Towson a 62-54 lead with just over eight minutes remaining.
Davon Usher tried to will a Delaware comeback with a big three pointer but the Blue Hens kept rushing shots while Towson converted theirs. The poor shooting was most apparent from Carl Baptiste and Kyle Anderson who combined for a 6-for-20 performance from the field in the Blue Hen's 78-63 loss.
Tonight was a night the Blue Hens certainly missed suspended Jarvis Threatt tonight, as Monte Ross' squad played just a six man rotation throughout the game .
Benimon was once again the star for Towson with a monster night featuring 25 points and 18 rebounds. Tonight's game was Benimon's sixteenth double-double of the year. Burwell added 17 points for the Tigers while Rafriel Guthrie finished with 15.
Davon Usher finished with 24 points for the Blue Hens and Devon Saddler added 18.
Delaware will now look to rebound Wednesday at Hofstra while Towson will travel to Northeastern for a Thursday night match up.
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