Dominating second half propels JMU to win
Dukes take charge with 12-0 run to open second half
JMU sports: www.jmusports.com
James Madison opened the second half with a 12-0 run and closed with a 19-6 swing while outscoring Fordham 53-32 overall in the period en route to an 85-73 men’s basketball victory Wednesday night at the Convocation Center.
JMU won its second in a row to improve to 6-4 for the season while Fordham dropped to 2-8 after falling to the Dukes for the second straight season.
The Dukes trailed 41-32 at the break before scoring the first 12 points of the second stanza to take their first lead at 44-41 with 16:21 remaining. The lead changed eight times and JMU trailed 67-66 with 6:16 remaining when the Dukes embarked on an 18-2 run. The burst turned the one-point deficit into an 84-69 lead with 29 seconds left to clinch the victory.
Junior forward Denzel Bowles (Virginia Beach, Va./Kempsville) was the key with 24 points and 13 rebounds for his second straight double-double along with four assists and two blocks. He scored 19 of his points and pulled 10 boards in the second half with nine points in the 12-0 run as well as six points and seven boards in the 18-2 run.
After five points and 1-for-5 free-throw shooting in the opening period, Bowles changed things quickly in the second half with a post move, a kick-out for a Julius Wells three, and a three-point play in the post on JMU’s first three possessions in the first two minutes. He hit all five free throws attempted in the second period.
Three other Dukes reached double figures, led by sophomore forward Julius Wells (Toledo, Ohio/Libbey) with 18 points, eight rebounds, and three assists. His effort included 12 second-half points. Freshman guard Darren White (Danville, Va./Dan River) contributed 15 points, eight boards, two assists, and two blocks. Junior guard Ben Louis (Melbourne, Australia/St. Francis Xavier) added 11 points while hitting three of four three-pointers to go with five boards.
Chris Gaston led Fordham with 24 points and eight rebounds. Brenton Butler added 16 points, four rebounds, and six assists. Fahro Aliholdzic contributed six points and 10 rebounds.