NEWARK, Del., Feb. 12, 2014 – Davon Usher scored 34 points to lead Delaware to its 13th straight victory with an 81-65 decision over James Madison in a Colonial Athletic Association men’s basketball game on Wednesday evening at the Bob Carpenter Center.
UD improved to 19-7 overall and 11-0 in the CAA. JMU fell to 9-17 overall and 4-8 in the league.
Coming off of a 42-point performance a week ago that earned him national recognition, Usher scored 18 points in the first half and added 16 in the second to record his 34-point evening. He was 9-for-17 from the field, 4-for-7 from the arc and 12-for-13 at the foul line, 9-for-10 in the second half.
Freshman Yohanny Dalembert (Port-au-Prince, Haiti/Lower Merion (Pa.)) had a breakthrough game for JMU. He entered the night averaging 1.5 points and 2.1 rebounds with highs of seven points and six boards before posting a double-double of 15 points, 13 rebounds and two blocks.
Sophomore guard Andre Nation (Plant City, Fla./Faith Baptist Christian) had a team-high 17 points for the Dukes. Sophomore guard Ron Curry (Pennsauken, N.J./Paul VI) had eight points, four steals and three assists.
Forward Carl Baptiste supported the UD cause with a double-double of 16 points on 8-for-10 shooting and 11 rebounds while also blocking three shots. Senior guard Devon Saddler filled the stat sheet with nine points, seven rebounds, eight assists and three steals.
UD built its margin in the first half, leading by as many as 20 points on several occasions and taking a 51-32 lead into the break. The Blue Hens shot 54 percent in the half with five 3-pointers compared to 27 percent for JMU. The Dukes scored 16 of their 32 points on 21 free throw attempts.
JMU cut the deficit to 15 points on three occasions in the second period but could get no closer as UD led by as many as 22 points for before settling for the final margin of 81-65.
The Blue Hens finished the night shooting 42 percent after being held to 24 percent in the second half. UD shot 85 percent at the foul line for the game (22-for-26). JMU shot 32 percent for the game, including 3-for-15 (20 percent) from the arc. The teams were even on the glass at 43 apiece.
Delaware pulled head early thanks to the inside play of Baptiste, grabbing a 9-3 lead with three layups from the big center. The Blue Hens further built the advantage to 19-10 by the 12 minute mark. The Dukes cut it to 19-14 after Curry snapped a skid of 20 straight missed 3-pointers for JMU.
However, Delaware continued to build the lead as Usher converted a four-point play to open a stretch of him scoring 11 of 13 UD points to put the host up 37-20 with five minutes remaining. The Blue Hens twice led by as many as 20 points before taking a 51-32 lead into the break.
Usher scored 18 points in the half while Baptiste added 16 and seven boards. Dalembert set a career high of nine points in the first half alone with six boards. Curry and Nation had seven points apiece.
JMU will be home on Saturday at noon to host UNCW in a televised game on Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic, Philadelphia and New England as well as Comcast/Charter Sports Southeast.
NOTES: JMU was playing its third game in five days while UD had not played in a week since Feb. 5… graduate forward Andrey Semenov (St. Petersburg, Russia/Blue Ridge School) broke a tie for the program’s career games played record with 127, moving past former teammate Pierre Curtis (2006-10)… redshirt freshman Dimitrije Cabarkapa (Novi Sad, Serbia/High Medical School) had logged just two career minutes before playing seven against Delaware with his first six career points, including a 3-pointer, a jumper and a free throw.