JMU men’s basketball falters in second half, loses 65-59 to Northeastern

jmu logoJames Madison led by as many as 10 points in the second half but Northeastern limited the Dukes to just 33 percent shooting in the second half to rally for a 65-59 Colonial Athletic Association men’s basketball winThursday night at the JMU Convocation Center.

The Dukes (9-7, 2-1 CAA) held the Huskies (10-5, 2-1 CAA) to a 38.1 percent (8-for-21) shooting clip before halftime, but NU held host JMU to just nine baskets in the second half and used a 13-0 run during the second stanza to erase the deficit and pick up its second CAA road win of the year. Northeastern also dominated the glass by a 41-20 margin, including 14-5 in offensive rebounding.

Quincy Ford led all scorers with a game-high 19 points and Scott Eatherton collected his fifth double-double of the season with 13 points and a game-best 13 rebounds. David Walker also contributed 12 points for NU in the win.

The Dukes were led by junior guard Winston Grays (Cleveland, Ohio/Benedictine (Cincinnati State)), who scored 15 points on 5-of-9 shooting, including 3-of-6 from 3-point range. Sophomore forward Yohanny Dalembert (Port-au-Prince, Haiti/Lower Merion (Pa.)) racked up his third straight double-digit effort with 13 points on 6-of-9 from the field while junior guard Ron Curry (Pennsauken, N.J./Paul VI) added 10 points.

The Huskies finished the game shooting 43.5 percent (20-46) while holding the Dukes to 42.9 percent (21-49). JMU shot 40 percent (8-20) from beyond the arc while NU shot 36.8 percent (7-19) from long range. The Dukes struggled from the free throw line at 52.9 percent (9-17), as opposed to the Huskies’ 78.3 percent (18-23). JMU outscored NU 14-4 off turnovers and 8-2 in transition after forcing the visitors into 15 turnovers but the Huskies held a 14-3 advantage in second-chance points.

Tied at 15-15 in the first half, JMU scored seven straight points and held Northeastern without a point for more than three minutes to grab a 22-15 lead with 5:39 left in the half. NU climbed back to within three at 22-19 but Madison struck back with the next five points to take a 27-19 lead late in the frame. The Dukes held a 30-21 advantage at the break.

JMU built a double-digit lead in the opening two minutes of the second half, going up 33-23 with 18:04 remaining but the Dukes would be held without a field goal for almost five minutes as the Huskies went on a 10-1 run to get back to within a single point at 34-33 with 14:48 left. The Dukes scored the next three to hold a 37-33 advantage with 13:43 left but four in a row for NU tied things up at 37-37 with 12:42 on the clock.

Trailing 43-42, a pair of free throws by Eatherton with 8:57 left gave Northeastern the lead for good as it would score 13 straight points to lead 55-43 with 4:17 remaining. JMU was held without a point for almost six minutes until a Dalembert layup with 3:54 to go put the game back to 10 at 55-45.

Down 58-46, Curry hit a jumper with 1:13 left to trim the deficit to 10 and, after a quick miss by Northeastern, Grays knocked down a triple to get JMU to within seven at 58-51 with 49 seconds left. A steal by JMU and foul by NU gave the hosts another point on a free throw but the Huskies drained seven of eight from the stripe down the stretch to seal the win.

The Dukes will be back in action on Saturday, Jan. 10, when they hit the road for a bout with William and Mary. Tipoff in Williamsburg, Virginia, is set for 4 p.m.

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