Lob City: JMU wins in dramatic fashion

jmu logoSenior point guard Devon Moore’s (Columbus, Ohio/Northland) lob to freshman guard Andre Nation (Plant City, Fla./Faith Baptist Christian) with one second left lifted JMU to a 72-71 victory over Delaware in a key Colonial Athletic Association men’s basketball game Sunday night at the Bob Carpenter Center.

JMU improved to 16-12 overall and climbed into a second-place tie in the CAA with Towson at 10-5. UD, which entered the night in second place, had a three-game winning streak snapped to fall to 14-13 overall and 9-5 in the CAA, a half game back of JMU and Towson.

The Dukes took their first lead since halftime with four and a half minutes to go but then went quiet.  A three-point play by Delaware guard Devon Saddler made it 70-69 with three minutes to go.  From there, the game turned into a back-and-forth frenetic pace highlighted by turnovers and missed shots in traffic for both teams.

Following an empty drive by Moore, Saddler sprang open for a fastbreak layup to put the Blue Hens in front, 71-70, with 23.6 seconds remaining.  JMU turned to senior forward Rayshawn Goins (Cleveland, Ohio/Glenville), who drove from the top of the arc but had his contested layup come up empty.

UD forward Jamelle Hagins was fouled on the rebound of Goins’ miss with eight seconds left but kept the door open for the Dukes by missing the front end of the one-and-one opportunity.  Goins again tried to put up a shot in traffic at the rim but had it swatted out of bounds with 1.0 seconds on the clock.

After going scoreless for four minutes and one second, Moore lofted the ball to the rim to find Nation skying for the soft layin with 0.6 seconds left.  A full-court inbounds pass for Delaware went out of bounds to clinch the JMU win.

Moore finished with 19 points and four rebounds while the lob gave him six assists on the evening.  Goins posted his seventh double-double of the season with 19 points and 10 rebounds.  He had difficulty getting his shots to fall, going 4-for-18 from the field, but converted all 10 opportunities at the charity stripe.

As a team, JMU was 10-for-21 from the arc (47.6 percent). Senior guard A.J. Davis (Columbus, Ohio/Harmony Community School) added 16 points off the bench and went 4-for-8 from the arc.  Freshman guard Ron Curry (Pennsauken, N.J./Paul VI) contributed nine points off the bench by going 3-for-4 from outside.

Saddler had a game-high 23 points for Delaware to go with eight rebounds.  Guard Kyle Anderson had 16 points and Jarvis Threatt added 12.  Hagins had six points and 11 rebounds.

JMU forced 14 turnovers for a 16-5 advantage in points off turnovers.  The Dukes shot 36 percent for the game, but took advantage of the opportunities form the arc and also went 16-for-20 (80 percent) at the free throw line.

Madison overcame 11-point deficits in both halves, trailing 13-2 in the early minutes before taking a 38-36 lead into the locker room as well as trailing 53-42 in the second half before fighting back for the win.

Delaware started the second half outscoring JMU 18-5 to take the 54-43 lead at the 13:50 mark.  However, JMU fought back from there with a 14-4 run to pull within one at 58-57 and tied it at 60-60 on a three-pointer by Moore.  UD went back in front 66-62 before JMU went on an 8-0 run to go up 70-66 and set the stage for the final minutes of play.

The Blue Hens held a 42-35 advantage on the glass, but JMU actually led offensive rebounds 13-12 for a 21-16 margin in second-chance points.

Delaware grabbed the quick lead following the opening tip, jumping out to a 13-2 advantage in the first six minutes.  However, JMU started to chip away at the lead, cutting it to 15-10 just three minutes later.  Madison tied the game at 22-22 on a three-point field goal by Curry at the 6:30 mark and took its first lead on a three by Davis to make it 25-24.  The Dukes continued to expand to as large as six and took a 38-36 lead to the locker room.

Goins led JMU with 11 in the first half while Davis added 10.  Saddler had 13 for the Blue Hens.  Both teams cashed in at the charity stripe with the Dukes 9-for-11 (82 percent) in the half and Delaware 12-for-15 (80 percent).

With just three games remaining on the league slate, JMU will finally play its first matchup against CAA-leading Northeastern on Wednesday evening.  A win by the Dukes would pull them within one game of first place while also claiming the tiebreaker.  The game will be televised by Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic and New England.

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