Still riding the momentum of their season-defining upset victory earlier this week over conference top-dog Delaware, Towson notched its fourth straight victory Saturday against Hofstra, 83-77, in Hempstead, N.Y.
Behind 22 points and six rebounds from forward Jerrelle Benimon, the Tigers moved to 20-9 overall and 11-3 in the Colonial Athletic Association, firming their hold on No. 2 in the conference with two games left before the CAA Tournament on March 7-10 at Baltimore Arena.
Towson will have a chance to match the program’s most wins in a decade when the Tigers play their second-to-last game of the regular season at James Madison on Wednesday.
Hofstra, meanwhile, continued it downward spiral, losing its fourth game in a row and 10th of its last 11.
The Pride (8-21 overall, 4-10 in CAA) was led by forward Zeke Upshaw with a game-high 33 points and four rebounds. Upshaw, however, committed six of Hofstra’s 11 turnovers.
Benimon, who leads the team in scoring at 18.4 points per game, was near that mark at halftime with 17 early points as the Tigers jumped to a 35-29 edge at intermission.
But when Benimon picked up his fourth foul early in the second half, Hofstra rallied and briefly took a 44-43 lead with just under 13 minutes remaining.
But that lead lasted all of 17 seconds as John Davis hit two free throws to put Towson back in front, 45-44, and the Tigers never looked back.
Towson guard Rafriel Guthrie chipped in 16 points, while Mike Burwell added 15 points and four rebounds, and the Tigers had a season-low five turnovers.
Guard Dion Nesmith finished with 14 points for Hofstra, while forwards Jordan Allen added 12 points and five rebounds, and Jamall Robinson had 10 points.
Pride center Moussa Kane had a monster all-around game with eight points, 12 rebounds and six blocked shots.
Hofstra is still dominating the all-time series, 36-23, in a rivalry that dates to 1982, but the Tigers have won four straight. Towson swept the season series after winning the first meeting, 76-58.
Hofstra has two regular-season games remaining before the CAA Tournament. The Pride travels to William & Mary on Wednesday before closing out the regular season March 1 at home against James Madison.
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