Jerome Hairston scored 14 of his career-high 20 points in the first half and Jerrelle Benimon added 19 points as host Towson beat Drexel 72-71 on Saturday in a Colonial Athletic Association contest. Benimon gave Towson a 71-68 lead with a field goal and free throw with 1:20 left in the game as Drexel's Daryl McCoy fouled out of the game on the play. Drexel's Derrick Thomas scored with 59.7 seconds left to make it 71-70. Benimon was fouled with 30.1 seconds left but missed two free throws. Drexel got the rebound and called time with 16.9 seconds left to set up a final play. But Damion Lee of Drexel made a bad pass that was stolen by Hairston with 9.9 seconds left. Hairston was fouled and made one of two three throws to make it 72-70. After a timeout by Towson, Drexel inbounded the ball and missed two shots before Kazembe Abif was fouled with 1.2 seconds left. He missed the first throw and made the second but Towson inbounded the ball as the buzzer sounded. Drexel guard Frantz Massenat had 15 of his 24 points in the first half. Towson (16-13, 11-5 in CAA) entered the game tied for second with Delaware in the CAA standings behind first-place Northeastern, which is 13-3 in league play. The Tigers led by 12 points in the first half and 41-31 at halftime but Drexel (11-17, 7-9) methodically got back into the game. The win means Towson will finish with a winning record for the first time since the 1995-96 season. The Tigers were 1-31 last season. The Tigers swept the season series from Drexel for the first time since 2001-02. Lee's 3-pointer pulled Drexel to within 57-55 midway through the second half and he ended up with 12 points. Notes: Drexel played its third game in six days. The Dragons beat Hofstra on Monday and lost Thursday night at Delaware in double overtime. ... Towson has 11 conference victories, the most since the Tigers joined the CAA in 2011. ... Towson had not played since Feb. 16, when the Tigers won at Hofstra for the first time in eight tries. ... Towson plays Tuesday at George Mason while Drexel is at Old Dominion on Thursday. ... The Tigers have one more home game: March 2 against Hofstra. The Tigers are not eligible for the CAA tournament due to academic shortcomings under a previous coaching staff.
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