Tag Archive | "CAA"

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Towson F Benimon picks up weekly CAA honor

Posted on 24 February 2014 by WNST Staff

BENIMON NAMED CAA MEN’S BASKETBALL CO-PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Senior forward averaged 18.3 points, 10.0 rebounds and 4.0 assists in Towson’s 3-0 week

RICHMOND Va. – Towson University senior forward Jerrelle Benimon was named the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) Men’s Basketball Co-Player of the Week, it was announced by the league on Monday. It’s the third CAA weekly award that Benimon has received this season and seventh in the last two years.

Benimon averaged 18.3 points, 10.0 rebounds and 4.0 assists while shooting 63.3 percent from the floor in Towson’s 3-0 week.

The senior had a game-high 25 points, a season-high tying 18 rebounds and five assists as the Tigers ended Delaware’s 13-game winning streak with a 78-63 victory last Monday. He was just the fifth Division I player to have at least 25 points, 15 rebounds and five assists in a game this season.

Benimon also contributed a team-high 22 points in an 83-77 triumph at Hofstra on Saturday. That performance marked the senior’s 15th20-point game of the season.

Benimon shared the award with Hofstra’s Zeke Upshaw, who averaged 29.5 points and 3.5 rebounds for the Pride last week.

Towson (20-9, 11-3 CAA) wraps up a three-game road trip on Wednesday at James Madison when the Tigers take on the Dukes at 7 p.m.

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Towson continues road trip Saturday at Hofstra

Posted on 21 February 2014 by WNST Staff

TOWSON CONTINUES ROAD TRIP ON SATURDAY AT HOFSTRA
Tigers seeking fourth straight win and 20th victory of the season

HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. – The Towson men’s basketball team will be seeking its fourth straight win and 20th victory of the season on Saturday when the Tigers travel to Hofstra.

The game, set to tip at 4 p.m., can be heard on the Towson Sports Network (TSN) with Damon Lewis and Spiro Morekas on the call.

Towson (19-9, 10-3 Colonial Athletic Association) is coming of a 79-70 win at Northeastern on Thursday. The Tigers have their most wins in a season since the 1993-94 team went 21-9.

Senior Rafriel Guthrie led the Tigers against the Huskies with a season-high 21 points. Guthrie is now tied with classmate Marcus Damas for second on the team in scoring at 11.7 points per game.

Senior Jerrelle Benimon still leads the team in scoring (18.4 ppg), rebounding (11.6 rpg), assists (4.0 apg) and blocks (1.4 bpg). The forward leads the NCAA with 18 double-doubles and ranks third in the country in rebounds per game.

Hofstra (8-20, 4-9 CAA) is coming off a highly-competitive 81-77 loss to CAA-leading Delaware on Wednesday evening. The Pride led 41-32 at halftime, but Delaware battled back and eventually captured the four-point victory. Hofstra got a pair of outstanding efforts as graduate forward Zeke Upshaw led the squad with 26 points, while graduate guard Dion Nesmith added 22 points, five assists and four rebounds.

Upshaw, who ranks third in the conference in scoring, is averaging 18.9 points per game and has drained a team-high 72 three-pointers.

Hofstra is 36-22 all-time against Towson in a series that dates back to the 1982-83 campaign. The Tigers have won three straight in the series.

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Towson hits road for three game trip starting Thursday at Northeastern

Posted on 19 February 2014 by WNST Staff

TOWSON BEGINS THREE-GAME ROAD TRIP AT NORTHEASTERN ON THURSDAY
Tigers seeking third straight win

BOSTON, Mass. – The Towson men’s basketball team is set to begin a three-game road swing on Thursday at Northeastern. The Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) battle, set to tip at 7 p.m., can be seen live on Comcast SportsNet (CSN-MA+, CSN-P, CSN-NE).

Josh Maurer and Blaine Taylor will be on the television call. Fans can also listen to the game on the Towson Sports Network (TSN) with Damon Lewis and Vince Angotti calling the action.

Towson (18-9, 9-3 CAA) is coming off a big 78-63 win over first-place Delaware on Monday night. Tiger senior Jerrelle Benimon registered his NCAA-leading 18th double-double with 25 points and a season-high tying 18 rebounds in the win.

The victory over the Blue Hens, which snapped their 13-game winning streak, improved Towson’s home record to 14-1. The Tigers only loss inside SECU Arena came against Northeastern, a 57-54 setback on January 22.

The Huskies enter Thursday’s game with a 9-18 overall record and a 6-7 mark in league play. Northeastern picked up a 60-44 win at College of Charleston on Saturday. Junior forward Scott Eatherton paces the Huskies in both scoring (16.1 ppg) and rebounding (10.3 rpg). Eatherton has 17 double-doubles on the year, trailing only Benimon for the national lead in that category.

Northeastern leads the all-time series with Towson, 16-11. The Tigers have not beaten the Huskies in the regular season since January 2, 2008, a span of six games. Towson did defeat Northeastern in the 2009 CAA Tournament, a 58-54 win that sent the Tigers to the semifinals.

Northeastern is the only CAA team that Towson hasn’t defeated this season.

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What A Difference Two Years And An Arena Can Make

Posted on 19 February 2014 by Robert Canady

Two years ago during the 2011-12 season, I covered many of Towson’s basketball games, meaning I witnessed  a loss almost every night.   I had a courtside view along with one other faithful reporter Mat Schlissel of TowsonTigers.com.  Many nights it was just the two of us who watched  from press row at a cold and lifeless Towson Center, as a team with only four scholarship players finished 1-31.  Also some nights we weren’t outnumbered by too many fans in the stands either.  A fact that isn’t lost on Head Coach Pat Skerry,  saying, “Two years ago we weren’t giving away seats, we were giving away sections.”

The Tigers are a commanding 13-1 in their new home SECU Arena

Fast forward two years, to this past Monday night.  Mat and I  still had seats next to each other.  However, this time those seats were in the beautiful new SECU Arena.  And, we had been bumped from our courtside seats in favor of the national television crew from NBCSports Network.   Also this time we were only two of 29 media members covering the game.

Still more differences, this time a crowd of over 4000 packed the new home of the Tigers with an energy that I have not witnessed in three seasons covering the team.  Most importantly among those 4,000 fans were the Towson students.   In those games at the Towson Center many nights, there was hardly what you could call a student section.   For most of this year, the students have been out in force, filling both sections under each basket, along with the energy generating Towson pep band.   Season ticket holders, alumni and just plain fans often take their cue from the student section.  If the students are into it, they naturally join along.

The excitement was in large part due to the opponent.  The University of Delaware came in with an unblemished 11-0 record in Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) play.  The Blue Hens occupied the first place spot that Towson had been picked for in the preseason poll.  In the first matchup of the season in Newark last month, Delaware had a similar type crowd on hand and beat the Tigers 83-76 taking control of the 1st place in the league.

To see where the Towson program has come In less than two years is remarkable.  It began with the arrival of  Skerry in the spring of 2011.  He found himself with a shorthanded team during his first season, yet it didn’t affect his approach to each game.   The Tigers played hard, they just didn’t have the talent.  Well they had talent, but it was sitting on the bench in the form of transfers Jerrelle Benimon and Mike Burwell.

When Benimon and Burwell along with JUCO transfer Rafriel Guthrie became eligible to play last year, the Tigers turned in the well documented record breaking season in which they set an NCAA record for biggest turnaround by finishing 18-13.  However, the joy of that success was tempered a bit as the Tigers knew going into the season they would not be eligible for any post-season play, due to APR issues prior to Skerry’s arrival.

This year came with many expectations, Benimon was voted the pre-season Player of the Year in the conference, and as mentioned the Tigers were voted the pre-season favorite to win the league.  They had gone from being the hunter to the hunted, and as Skerry has referenced a few times this year, they wouldn’t be able to sneak up on anyone this season.

So after 11 conference games the scene was set for Monday night, a win by Delaware would have clinched the CAA title for them and assured them not only of the No. 1 seed when the tournament starts in Baltimore in just over two weeks, but also assured them of a NIT bid should they fail to win the conference tournament.

With the win the Tigers still have an outside shot at winning the regular season title, should Delaware lose at  least two of its remaining four games.   While the regular season title may still be a long shot for Towson, the win did a couple of things that should bring even more excitement to the tournament.

Most importantly it can be argued, the Tigers regained some of their swagger in the league.  Two losses to the Blue Hens might have taken some of the anticipation out of the tournament.  The Tigers didn’t just win, they dominated Delaware in all phases of the game, and showed the form that garnered them the pre-season ranking.

Should the Tigers and Blue Hens meet in the tournament, it will most likely come in the final, as it stands now they will go in as the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds.    So there would be the automatic bid to the NCAA tournament on the line.  With the game being played in Baltimore at First Mariner Arena, Towson should be able to have the largest fan support of the nine teams.   However, the Delaware fan base travels very well, and will no doubt have several bus loads of students and fans make the just over one hour drive from Newark.

Player Of The Year Candidate Benimon outplayed UD Candidate Saddler on Monday night.-Photo Credit Towson Athletics

Both teams have valid player of the year candidates, Towson with Benimon and  Delaware with its all time leading scorer Devon Saddler.  The two schools are a natural rival.   In addition to being the closest in proximity of any CAA schools, the two have very successful football programs and have had some classic matchups on the football field.

Both teams have some work to do the final ten days of the regular season to avoid any slip-ups and both coaches will tell you the next game is the only one they are worried about.   The next game for Towson is Thursday night in Boston as they face Northeastern.   Skerry showed he is not looking past this game, “I told the team (in the locker room after the Delaware game) I like to leave them with little pleasantries.  But nobody in this room has beaten Northeastern, so we’ve got a major game there Thursday.”

Towson stays on the road after the Northeastern game to play at Hofstra on Saturday.  They return home only long enough to do laundry attend a class or two and head to James Madison for the penultimate game on Wednesday the 25th.

The regular season will close out against William and Mary on Saturday March 1st at SECU, and I know this, Mat and I will be sitting side by side, again in the upper concourse to make room for another TV crew, a fact that neither of us mind as we think back to those cold nights in an empty Towson Center, and realize how far this program and team has come.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Towson hosts Delaware Monday for showdown of top CAA teams

Posted on 16 February 2014 by WNST Staff

TOP TWO TEAMS IN THE CAA SQUARE OFF ON MONDAY AS TOWON HOSTS DELAWARE
Tigers looking to give Blue Hens first CAA loss when the squads meet inside SECU Arena

TOWSON, Md. - The top two teams in the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) are set to meet on Monday night as Towson hosts rival Delaware inside SECU Arena at 7 p.m.

The game can be seen live nationally on the NBC Sports Network with Mike Corey and Ron Thompson on the call. Fans can also listen to the game on the Towson Sports Network (TSN) with Spiro Morekas and Vince Angotti calling the action.

Delaware, which has won 13 straight games, is 19-7 overall and first-place in the CAA with a perfect 11-0 league record. Towson (17-9, 8-3 CAA) took control of second-place in the conference standings with an 85-70 win at William & Mary on Saturday.

The Blue Hens and the Tigers met earlier this season in Newark, Del. with UD pulling out an 83-76 win on its home floor.

Tiger senior Jerrelle Benimon scored 29 points and grabbed 16 rebounds in the first meeting between the squads. Benimon is currently tied for first in the nation in rebounds per game (11.6) and double-doubles (17).

Benimon was aided by the stellar play of classmate Mike Burwell in Towson’s win at William & Mary on Saturday. Burwell hit five three-pointers en route to scoring a career-high 23 points. The guard has scored in double figures in four of his last six games.

Delaware’s last loss came against St. Bonaventure on December 30. The Blue Hens boast the CAA’s top scoring offense at 80.3 points per game, led by senior Devon Saddler, who averages 20.4 points per game. Classmate Davon Usher averages 19.4 points per game overall and is leading the CAA by averaging 22.6 points per game in league contests.

Monday will be the 72nd all-time meeting between Towson and Delaware. The Blue Hens will pass Loyola as the Tigers most commonly played opponent of all-time. Delaware leads the all-time series 42-29 but Towson has won two of the last three meetings.

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Towson makes key CAA trip to William & Mary Saturday

Posted on 14 February 2014 by WNST Staff

TOWSON TRAVELS TO WILLIAM & MARY ON SATURDAY FOR SECOND-PLACE SHOWDOWN
Tigers and Tribe both 7-3 in the CAA

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. – The Towson men’s basketball team will visit William & Mary for a battle of second-place teams in the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) on Saturday. The game, set to tip at 4 p.m., can be seen live on Comcast SportsNet.

Joe Beninati and John Feinstein will be on the television call. Fans can also listen to the game on the Towson Sports Network (TSN) with Damon Lewis and Vince Angotti calling the action.

Towson (16-9, 7-3 CAA) will be looking to get back on a winning track as the Tigers fell at UNC Wilmington, 66-53, on Monday.

Senior Jerrelle Benimon posted his NCAA-leading 16th double-double against the Seahawks with 17 points and 16 rebounds. Benimon is just eight points shy of becoming the 24th Towson men’s basketball player to score 1,000 career points in a Tiger uniform.

Benimon would join teammate Marcus Damas as the second Tiger to reach the scoring plateau this season. Benimon and Damas would be just the third Tiger duo to reach 1,000 career points in the same season. They’d become the seventh teammates to play together on the same team with each scoring 1,000 career points.

William & Mary (15-8, 7-3 CAA) has won three straight games and five of its last six. Junior Marcus Thornton leads the CAA in scoring at 20.0 points per game. The Tribe average 72.9 points per game which ranks second in the CAA. W&M shoots 47.2 percent from the field, which leads the league.

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Tigers Looking to Finish Strong As CAA Tourney Nears

Posted on 14 February 2014 by Robert Canady

The Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) consists of nine teams from Charleston, SC to Boston, MA.     Each one of those cities has been pounded by winter storm PAX this week, throwing  travel plans into chaos, postponing games and having everyone think about warmer times ahead.

Hopefully those warmer times will begin the first weekend in March as all nine teams travel to Baltimore for the CAA conference tournament, but more on that later, we still have half of February left…sigh!!

This morning during the Towson Basketball Report on WNST.NET, I was asked by morning host Drew Forrester what Towson (16-9, 7-3 CAA) needs to do in its last six games to be ready for the tournament.  He prefaced this by saying this year’s tournament is what Towson has been building toward for two years, given they were ineligible last year, are stacked with seniors and were picked as the Preseason No. 1 team by the CAA Media, SIDS and Coaches.

Pat Skerry Has Tigers Playing Solid Defense-courtsey of Towson Athletics

I avoided the simple answer of saying, win its last 6 games and take their chances that a 13-3 league record would be good enough for the No. 1 seed. However, even that might be a stretch as the University of Delaware currently sits atop the CAA with an unblemished 11-0 record in league play, and posses the league’s most potent offensive attack.

Instead, what I said is simply Towson needs to avoid the trap it sometimes finds itself falling into.  And that’s forgetting to run the offense and settling for quick outside shots, many times hoisting up three-point attempts soon after crossing half court.  In its three league losses,  Towson has shot an unimpressive 35% from the field.  In two of those losses, (Northeastern 26% and Delaware 24% from the field) the damage was done in the first half.  In both those games the Tigers had double digit deficits at halftime.   As a matter of fact Towson has trailed by an average of 13 points at the half in the three losses.   Conversely in the seven wins, the Tigers have led by an average of 5 points at intermission.

Head Coach Pat Skerry has said since he arrived at Towson three years ago, that they need to do two primary things to win, that is play good defense and rebound.   Towson sits atop the CAA Statistical rankings  in both those areas.   For the season teams are only shooting .39% against them currently good enough for 22nd in the county, and Towson has not allowed any team to shoot better than 43% in any game since North Dakota State, a span of 13 games.   The Tigers have been just as impressive controlling the boards with a league best +6.1 rebounds per game margin.

So where the Tigers have struggled is in games where they have an off night shooting the ball.  I say off nights, due to the fact that Towson actually is second in the league in field goal shooting percentage at 44.8%.  However, in its most recent loss to UNC-Wilmington—a game that had been postponed from an earlier date due to an ice storm, this time  the game was played before the storms rolled in—Towson shot only 34.5% overall and 15% from three-point range.

Senior Benimon has 16 double/doubles this year tied for 1st in the country-Courtsey of Towson Athletics

In the losses to Delaware and Northeastern, the starting backcourt of Mike Burwell and Four McGlynn struggled to a combined 2-12 shooting effort.  However, they both bounced back the next two games going a combined 11-18 from the field.   In both those game outsides shots came as a result of first penetrating inside with the ball and then kicking it back out for a better look.

In speaking about the patient offense shown in those games,  Skerry said afterward that it was due to the seniors knowing what needed to be done.   For at least one night down in Wilmington the Tigers and the seniors forgot that recipe of success.

The CAA season has two weeks and six games left for the Tigers.  The stretch run begins on Saturday as they travel a couple hours down the road to Williamsburg and face William & Mary (15-8, 7-3 CAA) which is currently tied with Towson for second place in the CAA.   In a bit of a scheduling quirk, this will be the first game of the year between the Tigers and the Pride, yet Towson has already completed league play against, Drexel and Wilmington.  Towson will spend the majority of the next two weeks on the road, as they finish with only two home games at SECU Arena among the final six games.

Sophomore Tamajh Parker-Rivera Tigers Best Defensive Player according to Skerry-Courtsey Towson Athletics

The William & Mary game is important for a couple reasons.  Primarily, Towson would like to put the Monday night loss behind them with a solid win heading into Monday night’s home game with Delaware.  Since Towson last saw the Blue Hens they have had two starters suspended until March 1st for a violation of team rules.  A suspension that occurred two days after a Blue Hens win over Towson on January 25th.  One of those starters was Jarvis Threatt, who leads the league in steals and assists.  Delaware often plays full court pressure defense and Threatt was the key to that press.    However, the loss of Threatt and forward Marvin King Davis has not slowed the Blue Hens as they have won five straight without the duo.

In addition to getting back on the winning track, a win over the Tribe would put Towson in control of second place in the CAA.   A finish of second place in the league, would put the Tigers in the opposite bracket of the Blue Hens when the CAA teams storm into what is hoped to be balmy (well at least an unfrozen) Baltimore in three weeks.

 

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Towson looks for fifth straight win Monday at UNC Wilmington

Posted on 09 February 2014 by WNST Staff

TOWSON TRAVELS TO UNC WILMINGTON ON MONDAY SEEKING FIFTH STRAIGHT WIN
Tigers enter the week in second-place in the CAA

WILMINGTON, N.C. – The Towson men’s basketball team will play its first road game in over two weeks on Monday as the Tigers travel to UNC Wilmington to take on the Seahawks at 7 p.m. inside Trask Coliseum.

Towson (16-8, 7-2 Colonial Athletic Association) has won four straight games and nine of its last 11 contests, including a thrilling 68-61 overtime victory against College of Charleston on Saturday.

The Tigers downed the Seahawks, 60-53, when the squads met inside SECU Arena on January 11. Senior forward Jerrelle Benimon led the Tigers with 20 points and 17 rebounds in the first meeting.

UNC Wilmington (6-19, 0-10 CAA) is still searching for its first league win despite numerous close calls. Eight of UNCW’s 10 league losses have come by single digits or in overtime.

Junior forward Cedrick Williams leads the Seahawks in both scoring (13.4 ppg) and rebounding (7.0 rpg). Guard Ben Eblen ranks seventh in the CAA by dishing out 2.9 assists per game. Senior guard Chris Dixon led the Seahawks with 17 points on 6-for-12 shooting in the meeting between Towson and UNCW earlier this season.

Towson is 4-0 against UNC Wilmington under head coach Pat Skerry.

Fans can listen to Monday’s game on the Towson Sports Network (TSN) with Spiro Morekas and Damon Lewis on the call.

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Towson looks for fourth straight win Saturday against Charleston

Posted on 07 February 2014 by WNST Staff

TOWSON HOSTS CAA NEWCOMER COLLEGE OF CHARLESTON ON SATURDAY
Tigers seeking season sweep of the Cougars and fourth straight win overall

TOWSON, Md. - The Towson men’s basketball team will seek its fourth straight win on Saturday when the Tigers host Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) newcomer College of Charleston inside SECU Arena at 2 p.m.

The game can be seen live on Comcast SportsNet with Brent Harris and Glenn Consor on the call. Fans can also listen to the game on the Towson Sports Network (TSN) with Spiro Morekas and Vince Angotti calling the action.

Towson (15-8, 6-2 CAA) already defeated College of Charleston (12-12, 4-5 CAA) earlier this season, picking up a 72-57 road win on January 19. Senior Jerrelle Benimon led the way with 21 points and 11 rebounds and the Tigers committed a season-low five turnovers.

Towson, which owns its best record after 23 games since 1993-94, will look to continue its recent home dominance. The Tigers have won 16 of their last 17 home games and are 12-1 inside SECU Arena this season.

Benimon leads a balanced Towson attack which ranks among the top three in the CAA in both scoring offense (73.0 ppg) and scoring defense (68.2 ppg). The All-American candidate is tied for first in the nation in double-doubles (15) and is tied for second in the country in rebounds per game (11.5).

Senior Rafriel Guthrie has picked up his play of late, coming off the bench to score in double figures in each of the last six games. He’s averaging 14.5 points per game during that stretch and is getting to the free throw line an average of 8.3 times per game in his last three contests.

College of Charleston has dropped three of its last four games, including a tough 67-64 defeat at CAA-leading Delaware on Wednesday in which they had a 20-point lead in the second half. Senior Willis Hall leads the Cougars in both scoring (12.3 ppg) and rebounding (9.3 rpg). CofC leads the CAA in scoring defense, allowing just 62.8 points per game.

Towson will be supporting breast cancer awareness on Saturday by wearing pink gear. The cause hits home for Tiger senior Marcus Damas, as his mother is a breast cancer survivor. Fans are encouraged to also support the cause and to help raise awareness by wearing pink to the game.

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Towson looks for third straight win Tuesday against James Madison

Posted on 04 February 2014 by WNST Staff

TOWSON HOSTS DEFENDING CAA CHAMPION JAMES MADISON ON TUESDAY
Tigers seeking third straight win and 15th victory of the season

TOWSON, Md. - The Towson men’s basketball team will be seeking its third straight win on Tuesday when the Tigers host defending Colonial Athletic Association Champion James Madison inside SECU Arena at 7 p.m.

The game can be seen live on Comcast SportsNet with Al Koken and Glenn Consor on the call. Fans can also listen to the game on the Towson Sports Network (TSN) with Spiro Morekas and Vince Angotti calling the action.

A victory on Tuesday would give Towson (14-8, 5-2 CAA) its fourth winning streak of three or more games this season. The Tigers have won 15 of their last 16 home games and are 11-1 inside SECU Arena, including a 75-73 victory over Drexel on Saturday.

Senior Jerrelle Benimon, who enters the week tied for the national lead in double-doubles (14) and is fourth in the country in rebounding (11.3 rpg), paced the Tigers with 25 points and eight rebounds against the Dragons. Classmate Rafriel Guthrie scored in double figures for the fifth straight game on Saturday, posting 18 points.

Towson, which enters the week in second-place in the CAA standings, owns its best record after 22 games since also starting the 1995-96 season 14-8. The Tigers have not won 14 games this early in a season since 1977-78.

James Madison (8-14, 3-5 CAA), which won the 2013 CAA Tournament to advance to the NCAA Tournament, has won two of its last three games. The Dukes are led by sophomore guard Andre Nation, who averages 16.6 points and 5.7 rebounds. JMU is allowing just 67.5 points per game, second best in the CAA.

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