Wednesday, December 5th
BURLINGTON, Vt. – Jerrell Benimon posted game-highs of 29 points and 10 rebounds and Jerome Hairston made two key steals in the final 59 seconds of the game to help the Towson Tigers pull out a 68-64 victory over Vermont at Patrick Gymnasium in non-conference men's basketball action on Wednesday.
Towson snaps a two-game losing streak and evens its record to 4-4, while Vermont falls to 4-3 on the season.
Vermont opened the second half with a 7-2 spurt, all seven points coming from junior Luke Apfeld, to tie the game up 40-40, at the 17:15 mark. Towson pulled back out to a three-point advantage on a pair of free throws from Benimon, but a 3-pointer from Brendan Kilpatrick with 12:40 left gave UVM its first lead of the game, 45-44. Apfeld followed with five straight points and the Catamounts' lead grew to six, 50-44, with 12:01 left in the game.
Towson kept the game within two possessions and a layup by Benimon at the 2:27 mark knotted the contest up at 59-59. Clancy Rugg and Brian Voelkel each went 1-for-2 from the foul line and the Catamounts held a 61-59 lead with 1:46 remaining.
With the final minute ticking down, Hairston stole the ball at midcourt and fed Marcus Damas for a layup to tie the game at 61-61 with 39 seconds showing on the clock. On the next possession, Hairston picked up another steal and found Damas for another layup to shove Towson in front, 63-61.
Damas made a pair of free throws with 20 seconds left to make it a four-point lead for Towson, but Trey Blue answered with a 3-pointer with 13 seconds left to cut the lead to one. Towson sealed the win by making three of four free throws to close the game.
Towson raced out to an 11-2 lead in the opening minutes of the game and lead by as many as 11 with 3:54 remaining in the half. Vermont used a 10-5 spurt over the final 2:28 of the stanza to close the gap to five, 38-33, at the break.
"It was a tough one tonight. Towson deserved to win that game, we didn't come out well in the first half, we dug ourselves a hole. We did a good job of fighting back and regained control of the game in the second half but they out executed us down the stretch. We'll go back to practice and continue to work to get better and get ready for the next one against Quinnipiac," said Vermont head coach John Becker.
Apfeld finished the game one shy of his career-high with 23 points to lead the Catamounts. Blue added a season-best 14 points off the bench, including a 3-for-6 effort from 3-point range.
--- UVM Sports Information
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