HARRISONBURG, Va., Feb. 19, 2011 - Redshirt sophomore guard Devon Moore (Columbus, Ohio/Northland) hit one of his two free-throw attempts with 2.9 seconds remaining to give James Madison a 70-69 victory over Miami University on ESPN Sears BracketBusters weekend on Saturday afternoon at the Convocation Center.
JMU improved to 20-9 overall and reached the 20-win mark before postseason play for the first time since 1981-82 when the Dukes went 24-6. MU had a five-game winning streak snapped and fell to 14-13.
In a tight second half, the Dukes used a pair of free throws by Wells and a layup by Moore to grab a five-point lead with 1:51 to go. However, Miami's Chris McHenry countered with his third three-pointer in as many tries to cut the margin to two.
After a turnover by Moore, Julian Mavunga hit a layup with 30 seconds left to tie the score at 69-69. Moore then let the shot clock run down and made his move to the basket. He was fouled with 2.9 seconds left and went to the line to shoot two. After missing the first, he connected on his second attempt for the 70-69 lead.
Miami called a timeout and found Mavunga on the right side around halfcourt. His 30-footer from the right side went off the rim at the buzzer to give the Dukes the win.
Junior forward Julius Wells (Toledo, Ohio/Libbey) led five Dukes in double figures with 16 points along with seven rebounds. Junior guard Humpty Hitchens (Chillicothe, Ohio/Chillicothe) added 15 points.
Moore contributed 12 points and six boards for the Dukes. Sophomore forward Andrey Semenov (St. Petersburg, Russia/Blue Ridge School) contributed 11 points, including 3-of-3 from the arc, along with five boards. Senior forward Denzel Bowles (Virginia Beach, Va./Kempsville) added 10 points and seven rebounds.
Mavunga led all players with 24 points and six assists for the RedHawks. Nick Winbush added a double-double of 11 points and 10 boards while Allen Roberts contributed 12 points and eight rebounds.
JMU shot 60% in the second half to finish at 48% after a 37% first half. The Dukes shot 57% (8-for-14) beyond the arc. The RedHawks shot 47% from the floor and 39% from the arc. JMU matched its season low with six turnovers.
The teams traded leads 14 times in a tightly-contested game and had 11 ties.
The teams traded several early leads in the opening minutes. With the score knotted at 14-14, Miami went on a 10-0 run to grab command. With the RedHawks ahead 26-15, JMU responded with a 11-2 run to cut the margin back to two. The Dukes forced a shot-clock violation with 0.5 seconds left and had a chance for the lead but a quick turnaround attempt by Bowles off a half-court pass came up short as MU led 30-29 at the break.
Mavunga led all players with 10 first-half points while Wells had eight for the Dukes. Miami shot 44% from the floor for the period while the Dukes hit 37%, 50% from the arc (4-for-8).
JMU will be back for its home finale on Thursday night at 7 p.m. when it hosts Old Dominion in a Colonial Athletic Association battle on ESPNU.
NOTES: JMU had dropped three of its last four at home after a 9-0 start prior to the Miami win... the Dukes improved to 3-2 all-time in BracketBusters games... it was JMU's first-ever meeting with Miami while improving to 5-5 all-time against Mid-American Conference schools... Bowles, who was honored before the game for scoring his 1,000th career point last weekend at George Mason, moved into 21st in career points with 1,056, passing current assistant coach Louis Rowe (1993-95)... Bowles also moved into the top 10 for points in a season with 536... Moore moved into the top 10 to seventh in season assists with 121, needing six to tie the sophomore class record... senior guard Ben Louis (Melbourne, Australia/St. Francis Xavier) tied for second in career games played with 119.