James Madison's men's basketball will look to pick up its third Colonial Athletic Association road win of the year with a visit to in-state rival Old Dominion. The match will be hosted at the Ted Constant Convocation Center in Norfolk, Va. at 7 p.m. and will be aired on Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic and The Comcast Network Philadelphia.
JMU dropped a 70-56 decision at Eastern Tennessee State Monday night, dropping its record to 10-13 overall and 3-8 in the CAA. The loss marked a three-game losing streak on the road, dating back to a 74-58 setback at Georgia State on Jan. 23. Senior guard Humpty Hitchens led the Dukes with 20 points, while redshirt junior guard A.J. Davis chipped in with 11. Freshman forward Enoch Hood rounded out JMU's offense with nine points and seven rebounds.
ODU's 68-44 win over William and Mary on Saturday marked a 3-0 week for the Monarchs in conference play. Earlier in the week, ODU defeated CAA opponents Northeastern and UNCW. With a win over the Dukes, ODU can make it a four-way tie for first place in the league, boasting a 14-9 record overall and 9-2 in the CAA. Senior forward Chris Cooper led the Monarchs against the Tribe with 14 points and nine rebounds. Sophomore guard Donte Hill and senior guard Trian Iliadis each registered 11 points on the afternoon.
The Monarchs used a dominating second half defensive effort, limiting William and Mary to shooting 33 percent from the floor and just 16 points. ODU used a 20-8 run in the first half to break a 20-20 tie and make it 40-28 at half time. The Monarchs carried that momentum into the second half on a 10-4 run, eventually extending their lead to as much as 27. Rebounding proved to be a problem for the Tribe, as ODU won the battle on the boards, 35-21. The Monarchs had 11 different players score, as they shot an impressive 52 percent from the field.
ETSU's shot 53 percent from the field and converted 21 points off 23 JMU turnovers. The Buccaneers built a 20-5 lead 11 minutes into the game before JMU used a 7-0 run and continued to rally to cut the lead to 31-24 at half. The Dukes wouldn't get much closer than that, as they trailed by double digits for a majority of the second half. The Bucs closed out regulation on an 8-0 run to extend their lead to 16 to secure the win. Senior guards Tommy Hubbard and Adam Sollazo combined for 42 points and 14 rebounds on the night to propel the Bucs' offense.
Redshirt senior Kent Bazemore and Cooper will be expected to pace ODU's offense against JMU Thursday. Bazemore leads the Monarchs in points per game, averaging 14 on the season. Cooper is one of the team's leaders in field-goal shooting percentage at 46 percent.
Davis was JMU's leading scorer for much of the season until Hitchens posted 27 and 20 points in his last two games to edge him out.
ODU leads the series 54-24 and has won nine of the last 10 games against the Dukes. JMU's last victory against the Monarchs came on January 7, 2009 in Norfolk, by a score of 70-62.
The two in-state rivals met earlier this season on January 2, 2012 in a game that ended in dramatic fashion. ODU rallied to break a 12-point deficit in the second half to force the game into overtime, and then used a 7-0 run to upend the Dukes at the Convocation Center. Bazemore hit the game-tying shot with 6.2 seconds remaining in regulation to force overtime. Iliadis led all ODU scorers with 22 points and seven rebounds, while Cooper chipped in with 12 points and 16 rebounds. JMU was led by Hitchens with 23 points.
Following Thursday's grudge match with ODU, the Dukes will return to CAA action when they host the Delaware Blue Hens on Saturday at 2 p.m. Delaware is currently in the middle of the conference, sitting at 9-12 overall and 5-6 in the CAA.