Sophomore forward Yohanny Dalembert (Port-au-Prince, Haiti/Lower Merion (Pa.)) scored a career-high 20 points on 6-of-8 shooting to lead the James Madison men’s basketball team to a 77-71 victory over Colgate in the Buckeye Classic on Monday evening at the JMU Convocation Center.
Dalembert, who has scored in double figures in consecutive contests, also pulled down six rebounds, tied for the team lead, as JMU moved to 3-1 in a game which they trailed for only 1:57 in the first half.
Junior guard Ron Curry (Pennsauken, N.J./Paul VI) led a trio of other Dukes in double digits with 19 points to go with a season-best six assists, while sophomore guard Jackson Kent (High Point, N.C./High Point Christian) scored 17 and junior guard Winston Grays (Cleveland, Ohio/Benedictine (Cincinnati State)) chipped in 10.
The Raiders (1-3) were paced by Matt McMullen, who had a team-best 18 points, while Austin Tillotson had 17 points. Two others recorded double figures in the loss in Damon Sherman-Newsome (14) and Ethan Jacobs (12).
The Dukes shot higher than 50 percent for the second straight outing, with a 52 percent (23-44) clip, while holding the Raiders to 46 percent (23-50) from the floor. Madison also shot 55 percent (6-11) from beyond the arc in the triumph. The one category the Raiders led was at the free-throw line, where they shot 84 percent (16-19) while the Dukes struggled in the second half, finishing at 66 percent (25-38). JMU outrebounded Colgate 32-26 and both teams did a nice job holding onto the ball, with each squad only turning it over eight times each.
In the first half and leading 20-17, JMU used an 11-0 run in 84 seconds, with nine of those points coming from Kent on an old-fashioned 3-point play and back-to-back treys, to give the Dukes a 31-17 lead with 6:55 remaining. The Raiders answered back with a surge of their own, nearly erasing the deficit with a 12-0 run as they held JMU without a point for over four minutes. Leading by a point, a layup by sophomore forward Tom Vodanovich (Wellington, New Zealand/St. Patrick’s College and a Curry jumper in the final minute put the Dukes ahead 39-34 at the break.
JMU went ahead 45-35 early on in the second stanza but, with Colgate trailing 53-46, a 4-0 mini run trimmed Madison’s lead to three at 53-50 with 10:37 to play. The Dukes responded with a run as a Gray triple sparked a 6-0 run that was capped off by a Dalembert layup with9:18 to play. CU wouldn’t go away and was able to get it in the three-to-four point range for much of the latter part of the second half.
Fast forward to the final 100 seconds, when a pair of Kent free throws put the hosts ahead 71-64. Colgate answered with a trey by McMullen with 1:05 left, cutting it to 71-67. Two misses by Colgate allowed JMU to get the lead back to seven on a few from the stripe and the visitors never drew closer than five in the closing moments.
JMU will be back in action on Wednesday, Nov. 26 when it welcomes Sacred Heart to the Convocation Center for a 2 p.m. matchup.
For season ticket and individual ticket sales, click here. Fans who are unable to attend can watch the game live on MadiZONE HD SportsNet, presented by the JMU Alumni Association, or listen on the JMU/nTelos Wireless Broadcast Network. Wednesday’s game will be sponsored by Aramark. For a full listing of promotions all season long, click here.