RICHMOND, Ky. -- Senior forward Markeith Cummings scored 13 points to become Kennesaw State's all-time leading scorer but it was not enough as Towson fought off a determined Owls team to record a 69-63 victory in the finale of the Comfort Suites Invitational Sunday at McBrayer Arena in Richmond, Ky.
Cummings eclipsed the previous mark of 1,683 points held by Herman Smith (1986-90) and increased his career total to 1,693.
All of Cummings' scoring came in the second half as the size and experience of Towson's (2-2) frontcourt neutralized him in the first half, limiting the Owls' senior to three field goal attempts.
Junior forward Jerrelle Benimon, a transfer from Georgetown, led a group of four Tigers in double figures, scoring 18 points and grabbing 13 rebounds. Freshman guard Jerome Hairston (15), junior Rafriel Guthrie (12) and junior guard Mike Burwell (11) also finished in double figures for Towson.
Kennesaw State (1-4), which fell behind early and forced to play catch-up the entire game, struggled from the field at the outset, shooting a season-low 29.2 percent (7-for-24) from the field in the first half. Senior forward Aaron Anderson kept the game within reach, scoring all 10 of his points in the opening 20 minutes.
Towson closed out the first half with a 9-2 run to take a 36-21 lead into the locker room.
The Owls opened the second half with a 16-5 run to cut the deficit to 41-37 with 11:40 remaining following an Andrew Osemhen basket. Towson answered the run and built its biggest lead of the second half following a three-point play by Benimon that gave the Tigers a 57-45 lead with 6:07 left and helped secure the win.
Kennesaw State outscored Towson, 42-33, in the second half, shooting 42.3 percent (11-for-26) from the field, and finished the game converting 36.0 percent (18-for-50) of its shot attempts. Towson, which scored 28 points in the paint, finished the game at 50 percent (22-for-44).
After opening the season with five straight road contests, Kennesaw State makes its 2012-13 regular-season home debut on Wednesday (Nov. 21) when it hosts Georgia Southern at the KSU Convocation Center beginning at 7 p.m.
Kennesaw State University