RICHMOND, Va., March 11, 2013 – Redshirt senior guard A.J. Davis (Columbus, Ohio/Harmony Community School (Wyoming)) scored a game-high 26 points on his way to being named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player as he led the James Madison men’s basketball team to a 70-57 victory over Northeastern to win the 2013 Colonial Athletic Association Championship at the Richmond Coliseum.
The third-seeded Dukes built a 22-point first-half lead, withstood top-seeded Northeastern’s second big final-half rally in as many days and pulled away again during the final eight minutes.
James Madison (20-14) won its second CAA championship and first since 1994 and advances to the NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Tournament for the fifth time overall. Northeastern, the CAA regular-season winner, fell to 20-12 and is assured of a bid to the National Invitation Tournament.
Joining Davis on the All-Tournament team was redshirt senior forward Rayshawn Goins (Cleveland, Ohio/Glenville (Cincinnati State) and redshirt senior guard Devon Moore (Columbus, Ohio/Northland). Goins finished the game with a double-double, scoring 14 points and pulling down a game-high 13 rebounds. Moore scored nine points and handed out five assists. He finished the tournament with 43 points and 19 assists.
Jonathan Lee led Northeastern with 14 points, all during the second half and 10 during the period’s first 6:04. The Huskies also got double-figure scoring from David Walker and Marc Banegas-Flores with 10 points each. Lee, who had 14 points in Northeastern’s semifinal win, was named to the all-tournament team.
JMU came out quickly in the game’s first half scoring on five of its first six possessions to take a 13-5 lead into the first media timeout. Four different players scored buckets, including three-pointers from Davis and freshman guard Andre Nation (Plant City, Fla./Faith Baptist Christian School). Senior forward Alioune Diouf (Powder Springs, Ga./McEachern) hit two layups and converted an and-one to lead the team with five points.
Nation was the Dukes third double-digit scorer with 10, adding four rebounds, three steals and two blocks. Diouf finished with nine points and two boards.
The Dukes kept up the pressure into the second break, limiting the Huskies to just one made free throw and extending the lead to 22-6 with 9:50 left to play.
Madison continued to expand its lead using a 23-1 run that included holding NU without a field goal for 12 minutes, 55 seconds before a bucket by Marco Banegas-Flores snapped the run with 5:29 left in the half. Banegas-Flores hit a free throw to complete the three-point play, but Madison responded with a pair of baskets by Goins to build its lead up to 32-13 at the final media timeout of the half.
Madison carried a 22-point lead into halftime, leading 40-18 after shooting 51.6-percent from the field. The Dukes outrebounded their opponent 22-14 and had eight assists to two for the Huskies. Goins had a double-double at the half for JMU, heading into the break with 13 points and 10 rebounds. Davis shot 6-of-9 from the field to lead all players with 17 points.
The Huskies shot 20.8-percent in the half and were led in scoring by Joel Smith with six.
The lead dwindled down to 17 points three separate times during the first nine minutes of the second half as NU started the half outscoring JMU 14-9. Out of the second media timeout, Lee hit a layup to drop the deficit to 49-34 and Madison head coach Matt Brady called timeout to refocus his squad.
More turnovers and fouls helped the Huskies extend their run. After a tip in by Peck, the lead was down to eight points at 51-43 with 8:15 remaining, but they never got any closer. JMU stretched the lead back up to 19 on a dunk by freshman guard Ron Curry (Pennsauken, N.J./Paul VI) and a layup by Diouf.
The remainder of the All-Tournament team was made up of Northeastern’s Jonathan Lee, George Mason’s Bryon Allen and Delaware’s Jamelle Hagins.
NCAA Selection Sunday is March 17th at 6 p.m. and will be air on CBS.
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