JMU falls short at UNC-W
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Junior forward John Fields had a double-double with 17 points and 11 rebounds, and junior guard Chad Tomko scored 13 second-half points as North Carolina-Wilmington rallied for a 67-64 Colonial Athletic Association men’s basketball victory over James Madison Saturday.
JMU led by 10 points late during the first half and 30-24 at halftime before the host Seahawks gained control by hitting for four three-point field goals during the opening 10 minutes of the final half. UNC-Wilmington eventually led 62-54 and held on for the win after JMU got to within a point twice during the final 36 seconds.
UNC-Wilmington with the victory snapped a five-game losing streak and improved to 7-13 overall and to 3-6 in the CAA. JMU fell to 8-11 overall and to 2-7 in the CAA.
Fields hit on six of 10 field-goal attempts and blocked four shots while posting his sixth double-double of the season. Tomko had only two first-half points, but finished with 15 points, including a pair of second-half three-pointers. Senior guard Johnny Wolf added 16 points and hit for two three-pointers during the second half for the Seahawks.
Sophomore forward Julius Wells (Toledo, Ohio/Libbey) had 19 points and nine rebounds, and junior forward Denzel Bowles (Virginia Beach, Va./Kempsville) 15 points and 11 rebounds for JMU.
Tomko’s final two points came on free throws with 0.4 seconds left and produced the game’s final margin after JMU was assessed a technical foul for calling an excessive timeout. Tomko missed on the first of two free throws with 1.4 seconds left and intentionally missed the second attempt to give JMU almost no opportunity to rebound and try a final shot.
JMU took the technical foul to give itself a chance for an inbounds play in a deadball situation, but the Dukes’ long inbounds pass was deflected as time ran out.
After UNC Wilmington led 62-54 with 2:45 to play, JMU got to within 63-60 on a layup by senior guard Pierre Curtis (Denver, Colo./East) at 2:32, a Bowles layup at 2:18 after UNC Wilmington’s Darion Jeralds hit on one of two free throws, and two Curtis free throws at 1:53 after a missed Seahawk free throw.
Fields missed on a field goal try, JMU had a turnover at 1:01 and UNC Wilmington missed on a pair of free throws before Bowles got the Dukes to within 63-62 on a jumper with 0:36 remaining.
Jeralds hit on one of two free throws at 0:24 for a 64-62 UNC Wilmington lead, and the Seahawks missed on two more foul shots after rebounding the second attempt, allowing JMU to regain possession. Bowles hit on one of two free throws at 0:11 to get JMU to within 64-63, and Tomko hit on one of two attempts from the foul line at 0:10 for a 65-63 Seahawk lead.
Bowles was fouled again going to the basket with 3.5 seconds left and made one of two attempts, setting up the play on which Tomko was fouled with 1.4 seconds to play.