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Towson sets NCAA record, goes from 1-31 to 2nd place in CAA

Mar 3, 2013, 12:02 PM EDT

Pat Skerry AP

Last season, Towson was the worst team in college basketball. The struggling Tigers finished 1-31 on the season, including a 22-game losing streak to start the year.

What a difference a year can make.

With its 67-64 home win over Hofstra Saturday, Towson finishes the season at 18-13, an NCAA record-setting 17.5-game turnaround from the previous season. The Tigers improved by 17 wins, but played one less game in the 2012-13 regular season, which accounts for the half-game.

That mark breaks the record previously held by Mercer in 2002-03 and UTEP the year after in 2003-04. Both teams improved by 17 games. For coach Pat Skerry’s team, this is the most wins the program has had in one season since 1993-94 when the Tigers were 21-9 and won the Big South title.

One of the biggest keys to Towson’s turnaround has been likely CAA Player of the Year and double-double machine Jerrelle Benimon. The Georgetown transfer averaged 17.1 points and 11.1 rebounds per game and has recorded 20 double-doubles this year, including Saturday in the win over Hofstra.

Towson finished tied for second place in the CAA, but is barred from the conference tournament and any other postseason play after APR sanctions placed on the program by the NCAA.

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_