Nov. 8, 2013
TOWSON, Md. -
The Towson men's basketball team (1-0) opened its brand new SECU Arena with a 72-45 win over Navy (0-1) in front of 4,262 fans on Friday evening. Towson, the CAA preseason favorite, had four players in double figures and limited Navy to just 31 percent shooting from the floor (19-of-61).
"We didn't play very well and we didn't shoot the ball very well. But (Towson) had a lot to do with that," head coach Ed DeChellis said. "They have great strength and their guards are all long. We didn't get great looks and they recovered very quickly. Towson is a very good basketball team."
Towson's Rafriel Guthrie scored a game-high 16 points off the bench and the 2013 CAA Player of the Year Jerrelle Benimom grabbed 17 rebounds. Guard Four McGlynn tallied 15 points on 5-of-7 shooting from beyond the arc.
Towson took advantage of Navy's early foul trouble as starters Worth Smith and Brandon Venturini both picked up two fouls in the opening five minutes. Towson led by two at 9-7 eight minutes in and then increased its lead to 29-15 midway through the first half with a 10-0 run that was keyed by three McGlynn three-pointers in a 1:47 span.
Navy bounced back with a 6-0 run of its own. After a Will Kelly layup, James Loupos blocked a Towson layup and then finished a fast break layup of his own. After a Towson miss on its next possession Kelly scored again to cut the deficit to 29-21 and prompted a Towson timeout. The Tigers then regained their form to close the period on a 10-2 run and take a 39-23 lead into the break.
Towson shot 58.3 percent in the first half (14-of-24), while Navy was 35.7 percent from the floor (10-of-28).
In the first 70 seconds of the second half, Smith picked up his third and fourth fouls while Towson scored the first four points of the period.
Towson then slowly built up its lead while Navy struggled through a 6:33 stretch without making a field goal before guard Kevin Alter hit a three-pointer with 10:50 remaining. McGlynn's fifth three of the game with 2:27 remaining put Towson up by 31 at 72-41, its biggest lead of the game, before a Smith dunk and a Payne Andrus layup brought the final score to 72-45.
Navy shot just 3-of-19 on three-pointers (15.8 percent) while Towson was 8-of-19 (42.1 percent). Towson also held a 46-33 rebounding edge and an 8-3 advantage in blocked shots.
Sophomore guard Kendall Knorr had one of Navy's top performances on Friday with nine points, six rebounds and three assists. Alter and Kelly each had eight points and freshman Edward Alade grabbed five boards.
"I didn't feel like we played as well as we could have," said Knorr. "We got down early and we were playing from behind from the get-go. That was on us. But they are really athletic, they rebound and they are a good basketball team."
Navy will return to action against Saint Francis U on Monday (Veterans Day) at 7:00 PM. The game will be played at the Cambria County War Memorial in Johnston, Pa.