James Madison (19-9, 9-7 CAA) will host Miami University (14-12, 9-3 MAC) of the Mid-American Conference at noon on ESPN3.com on Saturday, Feb. 19 in the Convocation Center as part of ESPN's Sears BracketBusters weekend.
JMU currently ranks third in the CAA in points scored per game averaging 72.2 overall (72.6 in CAA games) and second in field goal percentage shooting 45.6% (45.6% CAA). The Dukes also rank fourth in three-point percentage shooting 37.1% (37.4% CAA).
Miami currently ranks first in the MAC in free-throw percentage, shooting 73.8%, and fifth in field-goal percentage, shooting 43.7% from the field. The RedHawks also rank fourth in three-point percentage shooting 35.2%.
Senior forward Denzel Bowles poured in a career-high 40 points to lead JMU in the victory. Bowles also climbed from 25th to 22nd on the career scoring chart with 1,046 points. Bowles scored 20 points in each half on 7-of-10 shooting in each period. His scoring output tied for the fifth-best individual performance in JMU history and was the seventh 40-point game, the first since 1993.
Sophomore guard Devon Moore had a well-rounded effort with 14 points, a season-high eight rebounds, five assists, and three steals. Sophomore forward Andrey Semenov also added 11 points in his first start of the season.
The Dukes are led by Bowles, who is averaging 18.8 points per game, which ranks second in the CAA. He also rips down 9.2 rebounds per game, while shooting 58.2% from the field, which ranks first in the CAA. Junior Julius Wells is averaging 10.8 points per game while shooting 34.8% from behind the arc. Moore leads the team in assists averaging 4.1 per game and contributes 10.7 points per game. Junior forward Rayshawn Goins rounds out the double-digit scoring for the Dukes adding 10.0 points per game and is also averaging 7.1 rebounds per game.
Miami is coming off a Wednesday night 86-80 overtime win over Kent State, a team the Dukes beat on the road 60-51 on New Year's Eve. The comeback win gave Miami the best conference record in the MAC at 9-3 and first place in the MAC Eastern Division. Senior forward Nick Winbush led the RedHawks with 26 points and 12 rebounds in the win. Junior forward Julian Mavunga had an impressive 17 rebounds to go along with 17 points for two players with double-doubles. The RedHawks rallied from 13 down with 14 minutes to go thanks to a 14-0 run to put them back in the game. After Kent State tied on a late three in regulation, Miami used a 9-0 run in overtime to grab control and claim the win in a battle for first place.
The RedHawks are led by Mavunga, who is averaging 14.2 points and 7.6 rebounds per game. He also leads the MAC in minutes played averaging 35.7 minutes per game. Winbush is averaging 13.0 points and 6.7 rebounds per game. The Redhawks' third leading scorer , senior swingman Antonio Ballard, is out for the season after an injury and is currently listed on the roster as a student assistant coach.
JMU has not faced Miami previously but is 4-4 all-time against the MAC. The Dukes and RedHawks were the two Subregional hosts of this year's O'Reilly Auto Parts CBE Classic. JMU went 3-1 in the CBE with a loss at Kansas State followed by home wins over Princeton, Presbyterian, and Bucknell. Miami went 1-3 with a loss at Duke, win over IUPUI at home, and home losses to Green Bay and San Diego State.
JMU will be participating in its fifth BracketBusters weekend. The Dukes are 2-2 over the last four seasons with a loss in 2007 at Siena (77-66), a home victory over Morehead State in 2008 (89-57), a home win over Gardner-Webb in 2009 (90-78), and a road loss last season at Canisius (70-66).
As part of BracketBusters, JMU will play a "return" game at Miami during the 2012-13 season.
The Dukes will have their last home game of the season on Thursday night in a rematch with Old Dominion. The game will be televised by ESPNU with tip-off set for 7 p.m.