FAIRFAX, Va. (AP) — Jerrelle Benimon scored a career-high 31 points and Bilal Dixon's overtime tip-in broke a late 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.

"They threw in some deep, wild 3s, but fortunately we were able to collect ourselves in overtime to come up with a win over a very good team on the road," said second-year Towson coach Pat Skerry.

Benimon, the Georgetown transfer, made 10 of 14 shots from the field and hit a career-high three 3-pointers as Towson (17-13, 12-5) won its third straight game. The Tigers survived a furious second-half comeback bid by George Mason to move into sole possession of second place in the conference.

Despite being ineligible for postseason play, Skerry feels good about the direction his program is headed just a season after finishing 1-31.

"In my first year here we had been taking water guns to knife fights, but we don't have that anymore," he said. "We expect to be competitive with these types of teams."

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.

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.

Towson led 46-36 at the break thanks to outshooting the Patriots 54.5 percent (18 of 33) to 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.

Benimon did most of his damage in the first half with 22 points. The junior forward hit only two field goals after halftime but kept himself in the game by connecting on 8 of 11 free throws as well as collecting seven rebounds, dishing out four assists and blocking two shots. His importance wasn't lost on his coach.

"He's helped turn the program around quickly," Skerry said. "He's dominant in every facet of the game. I wouldn't trade him for anybody, anywhere.