Towson faces James Madison in CAA Tournament quarterfinals Saturday

March 07, 2014 | WNST Staff

TOWSON SET TO FACE JAMES MADISON IN CAA QUARTERFINALS ON SATURDAY
Tigers seek to reach CAA semifinals for first time since 2009

BALTIMORE, Md. - The second-seeded Towson men’s basketball team will face seventh-seeded James Madison in the quarterfinal round of the 2014 Colonial Athletic Association men’s basketball championship on Saturday at 6 p.m. in the Baltimore Arena.

The game can be seen live on Comcast SportsNet with Al Koken 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.

Towson (22-9, 13-3 CAA) swept a pair of meetings against James Madison (11-19, 6-10 CAA) this season, topping the Dukes 80-71 inside SECU Arena on February 4 and pulling out a 69-66 decision on the road just 10 days ago.

The Tigers have posted their most wins in a season at the Division I level and most overall since the 1977-78 team went 26-4 while in Division II. The No. 2 seed is Towson’s highest seed in a conference tournament since the Tigers were the top seed in the 1994 Big South Conference Tournament.

Towson enters the CAA Tournament having won six straight games, its longest winning streak under head coach Pat Skerry. It is the longest winning streak for the Tigers as a CAA program and longest overall winning streak since winning seven straight during the 1993-94 season.

The Tigers are led by two-time CAA Player of the Year Jerrelle Benimon, who leads the nation in rebounding (11.7 rpg) and double-doubles (20). The senior also paces Towson in scoring at 18.9 points per game and has dished out a team-high 115 assists.

Marcus Damas and Rafriel Guthrie also earned CAA accolades this season. Both were named to the all-conference third team. Guthrie ranks second on the team in scoring and 14th in the CAA at 12.0 points per game. Damas averages 11.4 points per game and is second on the team in rebounding (5.3 rpg).

James Madison is the defending CAA champion. After winning three of four games late in the season, the Dukes dropped their final two games to fall to the No. 7 seed. Sophomore Andre Nation leads the squad by averaging 15.2 points and 5.3 rebounds per game.

Towson is 4-2 in its last six CAA Tournament opening games, but this is the first of those that will be in the quarterfinal round. The Tigers have only advanced to the semifinals once (2009) since joining the CAA prior to the 2001-02 season.

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