Former Towson forward Jerelle Benimon posted a 10-point, 14-rebound double-double on the first night of action in the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament. His opening day performance continues an impressive postseason showing that could eventually result in a selection in the 2014 NBA Draft. However despite Benimon’s performance, his Portsmouth Sports Club squad lost a close 77-74 game to the Roger Brown’s Restaurant team in the second game on the tournament’s opening night.
Benimon averaged 18.7 points and 11.2 rebounds per game during his senior year and was named the Colonial Athletic Association Player of Year for the second straight year. He also posted a 15-point, eight rebound performance in the 2014 Reese’s College All-Star Game and was named MVP of the game. Benimon is currently the 53rd-ranked senior in the country according to Draftexpress.com.
Garrick Sherman of Notre Dame also finished with a double-double (19 points, 11 rebounds) for the Portsmouth Sports Club. Z. Mason of Tennessee-Chattanooga (13 points) and Justin Jackson of Cincinnati (10 points) also provided solid contributions for the Portsmouth Sports Club in the losing effort. Roger Brown’s was led by Fuquan Edwin (Seton Hall) who finished with 22 points. Middle Tennessee’s Shawn Jones finished with a double-double (11 points, 10 rebounds and Tyler Stone of SE Missouri State added 13 points. Atlantic 10 Player of the Year, Jordan Jett of Saint Louis, also filled the stat sheets with eight points, seven rebounds, six assists, and two steals on the night.
In the opening game of the tournament, Javon McCrea of Buffalo led the Norfolk Sports Club team to a 71-66 victory over K&D Rounds Landscaping. Kadeem Batts (Providence) added 10 points and eight rebounds and Juvonte Reddic of VCU also finished with nine points and nine rebounds. Travis Bader of Oakland finished with 24 points in the loss for K&D Rounds Landscaping. Bader, the NCAA all-time leader in made three-pointers, made four of his six three-point attempts.
Three local products – Andre Dawkins, DJ Covington, and Davante Gardner – will be in action tonight at the PIT. The 7:00 game will feature Mike Duman Auto Sales vs. Sales Systems, Ltd and the 9:00 game will feature Portsmouth Partnership vs. Cherry Bekaert.