Sadly, Towson’s hopes of making the NCAA Tournament came to an end on Sunday evening at the Baltimore Arena. The #3 seeded William & Mary Tribe outlasted the Tigers 75-71 in front of a pro-Towson crowd of 4,051.
The Tigers had two great chances to tie the game late, but CAA two-time Player of the Year Senior Jerrelle Benimon was unable to get a shot off in the waning moments. Seconds before, another senior, Rafriel Guthrie, threw an ill advised pass on a breakaway for the Tigers that eventual was reversed in the Tigers favor.
Benimon was not his best in this one as he was harnessed by a well-coached Tribe defense. He did, however, record 18 points, but only managed five rebounds and six costly turnovers including the last one of the night. Senior guard, Mike Burwell, carried the Tigers in the first half (13 points), but was limited to only four after recess. He was also hampered by foul trouble.
But in the end, the Tribe was the better team on this night as they shot the lights (literally) out of the scoreboard from beyond the arc (11-22). They also shot an absurd 60 percent from the field in the second half while only turning over the ball 11 times overall. Their Princeton style offense was clicking on Sunday and when they did miss, they had someone there with the offensive put back.
The win sends them into the CAA Final Monday night vs. the #1 seeded Delaware Bluehens who domintated a game Northeastern squad in the second half to earn the trip to oppose Bill and Mary.
An emotional Coach Skerry was brought to tears in the post game presser when he was asked what this Senior class meant to him. Benimon and Burwell were part of his first recruiting class (Benimon transferred from Geogetown) and helped transform this program from a 1-31 team to a 23-10 season and a #2 seed in the CAA tournament. They have nothing to be a ashamed of and this likely won’t be the last opportunity for this team to play together as Skerry mentioned “sweating out” the postseason possibilities (NIT or CBI).
In closing, I would like to thank you who put up with the constant tweets from the Arena on my part this weekend. It was an amazing opportunity that I enjoyed to the fullest and hope it continues in the future as BSR makes it’s mark in the local media. #TigerPride