North Dakota State tops JMU, 66-44

Taylor Braun turned in 19 points, seven rebounds and six assists to lead North Dakota State past James Madison 66-44 on the final day of the 2012 Progressive Legends Classic on Wednesday afternoon at Duquesne’s A.J. Palumbo Center.

NDSU, which improved to 5-1 for the season, used a 15-4 run to end the first half after trailing by one with 7:31 to go.  JMU, which fell to 1-3, could get no closer than five in the second half as the Bison methodically pulled away for the victory.

Braun shot 6-for-10 from the field, including 3-for-5 from the arc to pace NDSU.  Forward TrayVonn Wright added 12 points and five rebounds while four other players had between seven and nine points.

Freshman guard Andre Nation (Plant City, Fla./Faith Baptist Christian) was the lone JMU player in double figures with 10 points and three of the team’s nine steals.  He averaged 13 points to go with seven steals during the three subregional games.  Senior forward Rayshawn Goins (Cleveland, Ohio/Glenville) had five points and seven rebounds and was named to the All-Tournament Team after averaging 15.3 points and 9.7 rebounds during the three games.

JMU cut its 10-point halftime deficit to five at 37-32 with 13:39 remaining in the game.  However, the Bison responded with a 7-0 spurt to go back up by 12 and never let the margin slip below nine the rest of the way.  The Dukes trailed 55-43 with six minutes to go when NDSU ended the game outscoring Madison 11-1 as JMU played the final 8:21 without a field goal.

The Bison shot 53 percent from the floor and 44 percent (8-for-18) from the arc.  JMU struggled to a 33 percent mark, including 27 percent in the second period.  The Dukes were 2-for-9 from long distance.

JMU weathered a stretch of four and a half minutes scoreless to begin the game, only surrendering five points during the run.  The Dukes fought back to take the lead at 12-9 and still held the advantage at 20-19 with 7:31 remaining.

However, the offense then went cold as NDSU closed the final seven and a half minutes of the half on a 15-4 run, featuring eight points from Braun, who had 10 points in the half.  Nation led JMU with six points in the first period.

Madison will remain in Pittsburgh through Thanksgiving before traveling to Miami University in Oxford Ohio for Saturday’s noon non-conference game.

Augusta Health Kris McMackin CPA
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Augusta Free Press