FAIRFAX, Va. (AP) — Jerrelle Benimon scored a career-high 31 points and Bilal Dixon’s overtime tip-in broke a late overtime tie as Towson defeated George Mason 85-81 Tuesday night to snap a 20-game losing streak to its Colonial Athletic Association rival.

George Mason’s Anali Okologi hit a 3-pointer with 1.9 seconds remaining to tie the game at 79 in regulation after Patrick Holloway made two 3-pointers during a 10-3 Patriots run over the final 1:19.

Benimon, the Georgetown transfer, made 10 of 14 shots from the field as Towson (17-13, 12-5) won its third straight game. The Tigers survived a second-half comeback bid by George Mason to move into sole possession of second place in the conference.

George Mason (17-12, 10-7) was led by Jonathan Arledge with 17 points while Erik Copes had 13 points and 15 rebounds in the Patriots home finale.

Benimon who had 22 points in the first half was held scoreless in the second half until knocking down a free throw with 9:02 remaining.

Marcus Damas, who had a season-high 23 points and nine rebounds, hit a 3-pointer with 3:54 remaining to give Towson a 69-61 lead.

The Tigers outrebounded George Mason 44-39.

Towson led 46-36 at halftime after shooting 54.5 percent (18 of 33) to George Mason’s 42.4 percent (14 of 33).

Arledge lead George Mason all the way back from a 10-point deficit to tie the game at 30 with 5:22 remaining. It took Towson all of two minutes to push the bulge back to 10 with 3:32 remaining on a Damas 3-pointer.

Copes scored 11 of his 13 points after halftime.

George Mason came back to tie the game at 53 after Copes tipped in a missed Byron Allen layup with 11:24 left in the second half.

Towson responded with an 8-0 run over the next three minutes to take a 61-53 lead.

Mason took its only overtime lead at 81-79 with a Corey Edwards layup with 3 :00 remaining in overtime. Benimon tied things up a minute later with a jumper.

(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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