RICHMOND, Va., March 10, 2013 - Redshirt senior point guard Devon Moore (Columbus, Ohio/Northland) sank two free throws with 3.7 seconds remaining to propel James Madison to a 58-57 win over Delaware on Sunday afternoon at the Richmond Coliseum to earn the program's first Colonial Athletic Association title game appearance since 1997.
JMU improved to 19-14 while UD fell to 19-14. The third-seeded Dukes will match up with top-seeded Northeastern at 7 p.m. with national TV coverage on NBC Sports Network and will seek the programs first league championship since 1994.
Delaware led 57-51 with 2:54 remaining before JMU scored the game's final seven points to pull out the victory. Freshman guard Andre Nation (Plant City, Fla./Faith Baptist Christian) ignited the run with a three-pointer to cut the deficit in half at 57-54 with 2:38 to go.
Nation then stepped up on the other end and blocked Devon Saddler's shot as the shot clock expired with two minutes to go. He then missed a three attempt to tie but Moore grabbed the rebound and redshirt senior guard A.J. Davis (Columbus, Ohio/Harmony Community School) converted a pair of free throws to cut it to a 57-56 Delaware lead.
JMU came up with another stop on the next possession with 39.5 seconds remaining. Nation again tried to make a play but had his attempt in the paint swatted away with 15 seconds remaining. The Blue Hens collected the rebound but point guard Jarvis Threatt was whistled for dribbling out of bounds against JMU's full-court defense with 11 seconds remaining.
Moore penetrated on the last possession and drew a foul by UD forward Jamelle Hagins with 3.7 seconds left. He calmly swished both attempts to give JMU the lead by one. A leaning long attempt by Saddler at the buzzer was off the mark.
Moore finished with 14 points, six assists and seven rebounds to spearhead JMU's efforts. Davis led all players with 16 points on 5-of-8 shooting along with four steals. Nation tallied 12 points, four boards and posted JMU's first five-block outing in over two years. He set a JMU freshman class record with 39 blocks for the season.
Hagins posted a double-double with 12 points, 12 rebounds, four assists and four blocks for the Blue Hens. Kyle Anderson added 11 points, all in the first half.
Delaware held a decisive 45-27 advantage on the glass for a 23-8 lead in second-chance points. However, JMU forced 16 turnovers with 11 steals and limited Delaware to 36 percent shooting overall and 18 percent from the arc.
After neither team gained much of an advantage through the first 20 minutes, JMU finally used a 9-0 run sandwiching the two halves with six straight points to begin the second half for a 35-25 lead. However, Delaware then used its own 10-0 run to exchange a 46-41 deficit with 9:15 to go for a 51-46 lead with 6:42 remaining.
Madison fought back to tie at 51-51, but Delaware got a loose-ball layup at the four-minute mark by Carl Baptiste to grab the lead. Saddler converted a fastbreak layup and Baptiste added another basket to make it 57-51 and set the stage for JMU's final charge.
It was a tightly contested first half as neither team gained an advantage of more than five points or was able to mount any sizable run. JMU's defense limited Delaware to 27 percent shooting in the first half, but the Blue Hens were able to cash in at the free throw line, going 9-for-11.
Davis led JMU with nine points in the first half while Moore added eight along with four rebounds and three assists. UD's Anderson led all players with 11 in the first half while Hagins added six points, six boards and three assists.
NOTES: JMU will make its first CAA Championship appearance since falling to Old Dominion 62-58 in overtime in 1997... Madison's only CAA title in program history came in 1994 with a 77-76 win over ODU on a buzzer-beating shot by Kent Culuko... JMU swept three games against a second team in one season (W&M, UD) for just the third time in school history and first since 1992-93... the Dukes won for the fifth time in the last six meetings against Delaware... at 19-14, JMU can clinch its third 20-win season in five years under head coach Matt Brady... JMU improved to 14-1 this year when leading at the half... Nation now owns the JMU freshman records for both blocks (39) and steals (48)... with 157 assists this year, Moore needs two assists to break the JMU senior class record... Moore went over 1,300 points in his career (1,303) to move into 12th in program history.