State men's hoops: Benimon, Towson beat Vermont, 68-64

Towson forward Jerrelle Benimon, a Georgetown transfer, had 29 points and 10 rebounds as the Tigers came back to beat host Vermont, 68-64, on Wednesday night in a nonconference game.

Benimon went 11-for-15 from the field with three assists and four steals. Towson (4-4) made 26 of 52 shots from the field and had 13 steals to go with five blocks. Luke Apfeld led Vermont (4-3) with 23 points.

Towson led 38-33 at halftime against the Catamounts, the defending America East Conference champs, who were coming off a loss Saturday to Rhode Island.

Vermont took a 55-51 lead with 7:01 to go on a basket by Apfeld. The Catamounts extended their advantage to five before Mike Burwell hit a 3-pointer with three minutes left to pull Towson within 59-57. Towson's Marcus Damas hit a layup with 55 seconds left to tie the game at 61. Damas made a layup off a pass from Jerome Hairston (four assists) with 39 seconds left to give the Tigers a 63-61 lead they did not relinquish.

Apfeld missed a shot with 23 seconds left, and Benimon got the rebound for Towson. Damas made a free throw with 20 seconds to go, giving the visitors a 64-61 lead. Benimon made a free throw with two seconds remaining to account for the final margin.

Towson, from the Colonial Athletic Association, was coming off a 66-62 loss on Saturday at UMBC.

After that game, coach Pat Skerry promised that changes would be coming to the Tigers. The Tigers have played eight road games in a row to start the season. The schedule does not get easier, as Towson plays Saturday at Georgetown. After that, Towson plays at Temple before its first home game Dec. 15 against North Dakota State.

Benimon entered this week ranked second in the CAA in rebounds at 9.9 per contest. He had 13 points and 16 rebounds against UMBC.

Niagara 62, Loyola 61: The Purple Eagles weathered a late rally to hand the Greyhounds their first home loss of the season.

Niagara (3-5) has a six-game winning streak against Loyola in the Greyhounds' Reitz Arena. The Greyhounds are 3-1 at home and 7-3 overall.

Loyola looked like it would take control in the first half with a 25-17 lead with 7:50 remaining. Niagara, however, went on a 17-2 run over the end of the first half and the start of the second. The Purple Eagles never trailed in the second half but almost blew a 58-50 lead with 2:08 left. The Greyhounds scored seven consecutive points in six seconds to cut the lead to 58-57 with 2:02 remaining. Tyler Hubbard was fouled attempting a 3-pointer with 2:08 left and made all three free throws to cut the lead to 58-53.

Niagara committed a turnover on the inbounds pass, and the Purple Eagles' Antoine Mason fouled Franz Rassman with 2:07 left. After Rassman made one of two free throws, he stole the ball on the inbounds and made a layup while being fouled. His free throw cut the lead to 58-57 with 2:02 left. Hubbard made one of two free throws with 1:41 remaining after another Niagara turnover and the game was tied at 58.

Juan'ya Green, who led Niagara with 19 points, made two free throws and a jumper to increase the lead to 62-58 with six seconds left. Loyola's Anthony Winbush made a 3-pointer at the buzzer to cap the scoring.

Dylon Cormier (Cardinals Gibbons) led Loyola with 17 points.

Navy 85, Monmouth 66: The Midshipmen (5-5) shot 65.5 percent and scored 53 points in the second half to rally past the host Hawks (5-4).

Navy trailed 48-41 with just over 14 minutes left but connected on 15 of its last 22 field-goal attempts while making 14 of 19 free throws in the second half. The 19-point margin of victory was the largest for Navy in a road game since an 85-61 win over UMES on Dec. 22, 2007.

Fueling the second-half run were junior Thurgood Wynn and freshman Tilman Dunbar. The duo combined for 29 of the Mids' 53 second-half points while going a combined 11-for-13 from the field.

Swarthmore 87, Washington College 82: The visiting Shoremen (0-6) lost their sixth straight game despite 28 points and five rebounds from guard Stephen Poarch. The game was tied at 75 with 1:48 to play when Seth Liebert, who scored 24 points on the night, made a layup that gave the Garnet (1-6) a lead it converted into its first victory this season.

Bowie State 106, Pitt.-Johnstown 94: The Mountain Cats (5-2) defeated the visiting Bulldogs, capitalizing on Bill Luther's career-high 34-point game and 10 3-pointers, tying his school's single-game scoring record.

McDaniel 74, Johns Hopkins 64: Five players scored double-digit points for the Green Terror (2-4), including Evan Pupelis' career-high 17, in a home win against the Blue Jays (4-3). George Bugarinovic finished with a career-high 26 points for the Jays, but his 19-point second half was not enough.


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