After losing a hard-fought game at George Mason Tuesday night, James Madison will travel to Maryland for its second consecutive conference road game and fourth in six Colonial Athletic Association games overall on Saturday at noon at second-place Towson.
JMU (9-9, 3-2 CAA) tied a season high with eight blocks in its 68-57 loss to rival George Mason Tuesday night but was outrebounded by 19. They will now travel to play a Towson (9-9, 4-1 CAA) team that owns a +5.7 rebounding margin over its opponents, the top mark in the CAA.
Redshirt senior guard Devon Moore leads the Dukes and the CAA with 4.6 assists per game. He has played three straight games with at least five assists, including his six against the Patriots on Tuesday and his season-high eight dishes on January 9 against UNCW. Moore is the second-leading scorer for the Dukes, averaging 10.4 points per game.
Senior forward Rayshawn Goins paces the rebounding for the Dukes. Goins ranks fifth in the CAA for defensive rebounding, pulling down 5.5 defensive rebounds per game. He can get it done on the offensive side of the ball too, averaging 14.9 points per game as JMU's leading scorer. Goins scored 13 points against Mason, highlighting his ninth straight game of double-digit scoring.
The Dukes' leading scorer isn't the only productive big man on the team. With fellow senior forward Andrey Semenov recovering from an ankle injury, freshman Taylor Bessick has played an enhanced role on the team.
Bessick, who averages 11.3 minutes per game this season, more than doubled his single-game career minutes total when he played for 33 against Drexel. Getting his first career start against the Dragons, he registered nine points and 13 rebounds.
For Towson, junior forward Jerrelle Benimon ignites the Tigers on both ends of the floor. Benimon is very familiar with double-doubles, averaging 17.2 points and 11.7 rebounds per game. In 18 games, he's earned 12 double-doubles, a number that leads all of NCAA Division I.
After starting off 3-0 in conference play, Towson is fighting through a rough scheduling patch. The Tigers dropped their first CAA game to first place Northeastern on Saturday and staved off then second place Delaware Wednesday night 69-66. They will play home games against JMU, Georgia State and George Mason in a five-day stretch from January 19-23.
JMU is 6-2 against Towson under head coach Matt Brady. The Dukes last lost at Towson on February 8, 2010. The game shapes up differently from previous meetings as it will be the first time since the Tigers joined the CAA in 2001 that both squads have winning conference records.