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Marshall rallies to knock off JMU

Tirrell Baines led four players in double figures with 17 points as Marshall rallied from a second-half deficit to defeat James Madison 67-63 in a non-conference men’s basketball game on Tuesday night at the Cam Henderson Center.

JMU lost its second in a row to fall to 6-3 for the season. MU improved to 6-2 with the victory. It was the first meeting between the two teams.

The Dukes led in the early going of the second half, building a lead as large as six at 41-35 with 15 minutes to go. However, Marshall cut it quickly to 45-44 on a 9-4 run, capped by a three-point play by Nigel Spikes.

It was a back-and-forth affair from that point. Marshall took its first lead on a three by Shaquille Johnson at 49-47 with 10 minutes to go. The lead changed two more times and JMU was within one at 60-59 with 3:18 to go after a pair of free throws by junior forward Rayshawn Goins (Cleveland, Ohio/Glenville).

However, the Thundering Herd responded with a key 5-0 push to make it 65-59 with 1:09 remaining. A layup by Baines started the key stretch. Johnson then hit 1-of-2 free throws and Johnny Thomas added a layup for the six-point advantage.

JMU responded with a pull up jumper by junior guard Humpty Hitchens (Chillicothe, Ohio/Chillicothe) with 55 seconds left. The Dukes then forced a turnover with a steal by sophomore Andrey Semenov (St. Petersburg, Russia/Blue Ridge School) and sophomore guard Devon Moore (Columbus, Ohio/Northland) hit a layup with 47 seconds left to make it a two-point game at 65-63.

With the Dukes needing a stop on the ensuing possession, Marshall ran down the shot clock and DeAndre Kane missed a three-pointer with 12 seconds left. However, Thomas pulled down the critical offensive rebound and Johnson hit both free throws after a foul by Goins. JMU turned it over on its final possession to give the Herd the four-point win.

Moore led all players with season highs of 19 points and seven rebounds to go with five assists. Senior forward Denzel Bowles (Virginia Beach, Va./Kempsville) had 13 points, five boards, and three assists, but after going 5-for-6 from the floor in the first half, he was limited to one field goal in six tries in the second.

Hitchens was also in double figures for the Dukes with 11 points, three assists, and a season-high four steals. Goins added 10 points and a team-best eight boards. Junior forward Julius Wells (Toledo, Ohio/Libbey) added eight points to move into a tie for 21st all-time at JMU with 1,037 career points.

Baines finished with 17 points and six rebounds to lead Marshall. Thomas tallied 13 while Kane and Johnson each poured in 12 with Johnson adding six assists. Spikes totaled 13 rebounds to lead all players.

JMU outshot Marshall 40.6 percent to 39.3 percent while the Herd made 5-of-14 threes (35.7 percent) compared to 5-for-17 (29.4 percent) for the Dukes. MU had a significant advantage at the charity stripe, hitting 18-of-26 while JMU had just 11 opportunities, making six.

JMU led 32-30 at halftime with solid overall play aside from 11 turnovers, including a number of traveling violations. The Dukes shot 45 percent in the first stanza while holding the Thundering Herd to just 30 percent from the floor. MU stayed in it with a 10-for-10 performance at the charity stripe in the opening half, while JMU did not have an attempt.

Both teams struggled in the opening eight minutes, combining to shoot 8-for-26 (31 percent) at the second media timeout. JMU led 23-20 with 6:50 to go when Marshall went on an 8-0 run to grab its largest first-half lead. The Dukes fought back with a 6-0 run of their own to retake the lead at 29-28. A pair of free throws put the Herd back in front briefly before a Moore three provided the halftime margin, 32-30.

Bowles and Moore each had 10 points in the opening half for JMU. Baines and Kane each had eight for Marshall.


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