RICHMOND, Va., March 9, 2013 - Senior guards Devon Moore (Columbus, Ohio/Northland) and A.J. Davis (Columbus, Ohio/Harmony Community School) each posted 20 points as James Madison used a 17-2 second-half run to streak past William and Mary 72-67 and into the Colonial Athletic Association Championship semifinals on Saturday evening at the Richmond Coliseum.
JMU improved to 18-14 overall and will make its first appearance in the CAA semifinals since 2001. The Dukes will face Delaware (19-13) at 4:30 p.m. with national TV coverage on NBC Sports Network. The Blue Hens were 62-57 victors over Hofstra prior to JMU's game.
Madison trailed 56-49 with 9:35 remaining when the tide began to turn. Senior forward Rayshawn Goins (Cleveland, Ohio/Glenville), who had just three points in the first 30 minutes, ignited the 17-2 run with a three-point play and scored 10 of the 17 points.
Free throws by Goins and Moore gave the Dukes the lead at 58-56. William and Mary guard Marcus Thornton briefly stemmed the tide with a jumper to tie it. However, JMU kept things going, following its 9-0 spurt with an 8-0 run after the Tribe bucket.
JMU had 11 offensive rebounds in the second half with an overall advantage on the glass of 22-8 in the period. The Dukes used three consecutive offensive putbacks for the 8-0 run to take the lead. Moore returned his own miss, Davis slammed home a missed layup by Goins and freshman guard Andre Nation (Plant City, Fla./Faith Baptist) tipped in a missed shot by Moore. A layup by Goins made it 66-58 with 3:41 to go.
W&M cut it to 68-65 after a pair of technical foul free throws and had a chance to cut further by Brandon Britt's layup came up empty. Goins' layup pushed the lead back to five at 70-65 with one minute remaining, but Thornton hit a layup of his own with 46 seconds left.
JMU ran the shot clock down on its next possession and had the ball go out of bounds in the corner with five seconds on the shot clock, 15 in the game. On the inbounds pass, Moore had trouble controlling the ball and stepped out of bounds.
On the other end, Thornton found himself wide open on the left wing of the arc with a chance to tie. However, the league's top three-point percentage shooter (.433 entering the tournament) missed long off the iron. Freshman guard Ron Curry (Pennsauken, N.J./Paul VI) sank both free throws to cap the 72-67 victory.
Moore finished with his third 20-point game of the season on 8-for-12 shooting after starting the game 7-for-7 from the field. His three three-pointers matched his career high from JMU's CAA Tournament game with William and Mary in 2011. Moore also had eight assists and five rebounds in 39 minutes.
Davis' 20-point night gave JMU 20-point teammates for the first time since Dec. 16 vs. UNCG. He was 8-for-13 from the field while adding five rebounds and four steals. Goins scored all 13 of his points in the second half, including 10 in the final 10 minutes, while adding six rebounds and two steals.
JMU led W&M in rebounding 34-23 just one week after the Tribe held a 35-23 advantage over the Dukes in the regular season finale. Madison earned a 17-5 edge in second-chance points thanks to 14 offensive rebounds.
The Dukes won despite shooting 50 percent (9-for-18) at the free throw line, where the Tribe was 18-for-24 (75 percent). The teams were nearly even in field goal shooting with JMU 49 percent overall and 39 percent at the arc while W&M was 50 percent overall and 37 percent on threes.
JMU led 34-33 at the break and still sat in front 43-40 in the early minutes of the second half when Nation picked up his fourth foul. With one of Madison's top defensive guards on the bench, the Tribe reeled off 10 unanswered points to push ahead 50-43. They still held the seven-point margin at 56-49 when JMU started its 17-2 game-turning swing.
The first half got off to a slow offensive start for both teams with a total of 11 points between the teams in the first six and a half minutes. W&M claimed the early momentum with a 9-4 lead, but JMU responded with a 7-2 spurt to begin what proved to be a 20-minute session of momentum swings.
With JMU shooting 38 percent in the first nine minutes and W&M at 25 percent, the pace picked up. JMU sat in front 17-13 when the Tribe went on a 12-0 run capped by a Britt three-pointer and a long pull-up jumper by Thornton to make it 25-17.
However, JMU answered right back with a 12-2 swing of its own as a three by Moore tied it at 27-27 and Curry's shot clock fading jumper reclaimed the lead at 29-27 at the 4:20 mark. Davis closed his high-scoring first half with five straight points, including a three-point play to account for a 34-33 Madison lead at the half.
Davis led the Dukes with 15 points in the half, all among the final 25 for JMU, while Moore added 12. Britt led the Tribe with 12 while Thornton and Rusthoven each contributed nine. Both teams increased to 50 percent shooting in the half after the slow starts. W&M had 10 made free throws in the period while JMU was just 1-for-3.
NOTES: JMU last played in the semifinals in back-to-back seasons in 2000 and 2001, falling to Richmond and George Mason, respectively... the Dukes will be aiming for their first CAA title game appearance since an overtime loss to Old Dominion in 1997... Madison won its fourth straight in the series to improve to 3-0 vs. W&M this season and will look to do the same vs. Delaware... JMU improved to 7-3 all-time in CAA Tournament play vs. the Tribe and had been eliminated by W&M in both 2010 and 2011... JMU improved to 3-10 over the last 10 years in CAA Championship play... the Dukes are now 4-1 in neutral-court games... Davis has averaged 20 points over his last eight games and scored 83 points in three meetings with the Tribe this season (27.7 points/game)... Davis made just his second start since the second week of the season as JMU used its 14th different starting lineup in 32 games... Moore passed Eugene Atkinson (1,276, 1995-99) and Steve Hood (1,282, 1989-91) into 13th in career scoring at JMU with 1,289... Moore also moved into the top 10 in career steals with 114 and went over 4,000 career minutes, ranking second all-time (4,035).