James Madison's men's basketball will close out regular season play Saturday afternoon by hosting Colonial Athletic Association opponent Towson at 4 p.m. The match's outcome will determine JMU's seed in the upcoming CAA tournament on Mar. 2-5 in Richmond.
JMU heads into the final game of the regular season in a tie for ninth place in the CAA standings with William and Mary, which owns the tiebreaker over JMU thanks to a win over Northeastern. A JMU win over Towson combined with a loss by either William and Mary or UNCW would place the Dukes in the Friday noon game as either the No. 8 or No. 9 seed playing UNCW. If either JMU loses to Towson or if JMU, UNCW and W&M each win, then the Dukes finish as the No. 10 seed and play at 6 p.m. against Northeastern.
GAME PROMOTIONS Senior Day Recognition
Boy Scout Day
Mascot Basketball Game at Halftime
32" Flat Screen TV Student Raffle
Free Game Programs
Domino's Pizza Scream
Sayre T-Shirt Toss
SVRA Best Seat in the House
Chick-Fil-A 3 Point Shirts
Flip N 79 Promotion
Free Daily News-Record
Senior Day Recognition
Drexel responded to JMU's offensive pressure, shooting 50 percent from the field in the second half with four different players scoring in double digits for the night. The Dragons used an 11-1 run to open the second half, building a nine-point lead before JMU cut the lead back to five. The offensive runs continued as Drexel used a 7-0 run to extend its lead to 54-42. A three by Redshirt junior guard A.J. Davis sparked JMU's own 7-0 run to narrow Drexel's lead to 54-49 with 9:25 left in regulation. The Dukes never got any closer, as Drexel continued to lengthen its lead with the final minutes ticking.
Towson's defense was unable to contain Delaware's explosive freshman guard, Jarvis Threatt, who scored 29 points Wednesday evening to lead the Blue Hen's to a 76-69 win. With the loss, Towson stretched its losing streak to seven games, dropping its record to 1-29 overall and 1-16 in CAA play. Sophomore forward Marcus Damas paced the Tigers' offense with 21 points, while freshman guard Kris Walden registered a career-high 18 points. Senior forward and offensive leader Robert Nwankwo recorded his 14th double-double this season, scoring 12 points and adding 14 rebounds.
Threatt converted 11 out of his 29 total points in the final five minutes of regulation to prevent the upset. A Damas three-pointer with 3:12 remaining brought the Tigers as close as 61-60, before Delaware used a 5-0 run to extend its lead to 66-60. The Blue Hens converted 7-of-10 free throws in the final minute to secure the win. Despite only leading 33-25 at the half, Delaware's offense responded in the second, shooting an average 63 percent from the field while limiting Towson to 47 percent.
Nwankwo has registered 14 double-doubles on the season, collecting 10 of those in the last 13 games. He is second on the team averaging 11 points per game, while shooting 40 percent from the field. Damas leads the team with an average of 14 points per game.
For JMU, Semenov has collected a combined 39 points and 12 rebounds in his last two games, surpassing his average of 10 points per game. Davis has been a consistent offensive threat for JMU on the season, leading the team with 16 points per game, while shooting an average 44 percent from the floor.
JMU has been led most recently by the trio of guard Devon Moore, forward Andrey Semenov and center Gene Swindle. Moore has 18 assists in his last two games and averages 8.9 points and 4.0 assists per game for the season. Semenov is averaging 14.3 points per game over the last 10 games and is shooting 58 percent (36-62) from the arc in that run. Swindle posted consecutive career highs of 10 and 15 points in the last two games and has 31 of his 79 points for the season in the last three games, during which time he nearly tripled his season average from 1.4 to 4.1 points per game. Junior guard A.J. Davis continues to be the leading scorer for JMU at 16.4 points per game. The Dukes hope to welcome back Humpty Hitchens (15.3 points/game) for senior day after missing two games with a shoulder injury.
JMU leads the all-time series 25-10 against Towson. JMU's last victory against the Tigers came on February 11, 2012 at the Towson Center, a game in which the Dukes pulled out a 58-56 win. JMU built an 18-point lead in the first half before Towson came roaring back, taking a two-point lead late in the second. The Dukes regained the lead and watched Towson attempt to tie it on a last-second shot that was unsuccessful. Senior guard Humpty Hitchens led the Dukes with 18 points while Semenov added 17.