Nation’s alley-oop secures JMU’s 63-61 win over Campbell

jmu logoAn alley-oop dunk by junior guard Andre Nation (Plant City, Fla./Faith Baptist Christian) with 2.3 seconds left to play gave James Madison a thrilling 63-61 men’s basketball victory over Campbell on Tuesday evening at the JMU Convocation Center.

With the game tied at 61-61, the Camels (1-5) had possession with the shot clock turned off but an illegal screen was called on D.J. Mason with 6.3 seconds left. The Dukes (5-2) called timeout to set up one final play and, following the inbounds, junior guard Ron Curry(Pennsauken, N.J./Paul VI) lobbed a pass from the top of the key and Nation collected the dish for the slam dunk. CU’s long, last-second 3-point attempt by Kyre’ Hamer went off the front iron, securing Madison’s fifth win of the season.

Nation led five JMU players in double figures with his second straight 15-point performance on 6-of-10 shooting. Sophomore forwardYohanny Dalembert (Port-au-Prince, Haiti/Lower Merion (Pa.)) recorded his second-career double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds while also producing a pair of blocks.

Curry paced three others with 10 or more as he tallied 13 points and six assists, while sophomore guard Jackson Kent (High Point, N.C./High Point Christian) and junior guard Winston Grays (Cleveland, Ohio/Benedictine (Cincinnati State)) added 11 and 10, respectively.

JMU shot better than 50 percent for the fourth time this season as it finished at 51 percent (23-45) from the floor, as opposed to Campbell’s 45 percent (23-51). Neither team shot particularly well from the free throw line as Madison was 61 percent (11-18) while CU had a 67 percent (10-15) clip from the stripe. JMU outrebounded its foe 30-26 but the Camels had a slim 9-8 advantage on the offensive glass, where they scored 14 points.

For Campbell, Andrew Ryan led all players with a game- and season-high 18 points, draining a game-best three triples. Three others also recorded double-figuring scoring outputs in Mason (13), Reco McCarter (11) and Hamer (10).

Ryan led the charge early for the Camels with a pair of 3-pointers and assists to give them an 11-3 lead in the first four minutes. They stretched the game to a double-digit advantage but, trailing 17-7, the JMU offense awoke, as a pair of Yohanny Dalembert free throws started a 16-0 surge that spanned just over five minutes to give the Dukes a 23-17 lead.

During that run, CU turned the ball over four times and went 0-for-5 from the floor. The Camels drew to within two at 23-21 but the Dukes closed the stanza with a 7-1 run to take a 30-22 advantage into the locker room.

In the second, Campbell used a 9-0 run in less than two minutes to knot the score at 36-36 with 13:39 remaining in regulation, as they limited JMU to without a point for nearly four-and-a-half minutes. JMU scored five quick points to gain a 45-40 lead, but the Camels answered right back with five of their own to once again tie things at 45-45 with 9:30 to go.

The Dukes broke a 49-49 tie when a Kent trey sparked an 8-0 run in just 1:47 to snag a 57-49 lead with 5:28 remaining. Trailing 59-51, the Camels mounted their comeback and erased the deficit with eight in a row in just over three minutes to square the contest at 59 apiece with 1:36 to go. JMU was held scoreless for nearly four minutes until Nation knocked down a pair of free throws with 1:07 to go. Hamer drove the floor 15 seconds later to tie it for the eighth time on the night, setting up the furious finish.

The Dukes will be back in action on Sunday, Dec. 7, when they welcome in-state rival Richmond to the Convocation Center for a 2 p.m.contest.

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