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Merch Madness
JMU OPENS VS. DREXEL FRIDAY IN CAA TOURNAMENT
Courtesy:JMUSports.com Release:03/03/2010
Courtesy: JMUSports.com
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HARRISONBURG, Va., March 2, 2010 - James Madison's men's basketball team will open play in the Virginia 529 College Savings Plan Colonial Athletic Association Championship Friday (March 5) in an 8:30 p.m. game against Drexel at the Richmond Coliseum.

The Dukes, who are the No. 11 seed in the 12-team tournament, will be meeting sixth-seeded Drexel for the second time during a seven-day period.  The Dukes lost 67-64 to the Dragons last Saturday (Feb. 27) at the JMU Convocation Center in the final regular-season game for both teams.

Last Saturday's game left JMU with a 12-19 overall record and a 4-14 mark in CAA play.  Drexel improved to 16-15 overall and to 11-7 in the CAA.

Friday's JMU-Drexel meeting will be the final of four first-round CAA Tournament games Friday.  The tournament continues with four quarterfinal-round games Saturday (March 6), two semifinal-round games Sunday (March 7) and the championship game Monday (March 8).  The tournament winner receives the CAA's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.

In Friday's other first round games, eighth-seeded Towson (9-20, 6-12 CAA) faces No. 9 North Carolina Wilmington (9-21, 5-13 CAA) at noon; fifth-seeded Virginia Commonwealth (20-8, 11-7) plays No. 12 Delaware (7-23, 3-15 CAA) at 2:30 p.m.; and seventh-seeded Hofstra (18-13, 10-8 CAA) meets No. 10 Georgia State (12-19, 5-13 CAA) at 6 p.m.

In Saturday's quarterfinals, top-seeded Old Dominion (23-8, 15-3 CAA) faces the Towson/UNC Wilmington winner at noon; No. 4 George Mason (17-13, 12-6) plays the Virginia Commonwealth/Delaware winner at 2:30 p.m; No. 2 Northeastern (19-11, 14-4 CAA) meets the Hofstra/Georgia State winner at 6 p.m.; and No. 3 William and Mary (20-9, 12-6) faces the Drexel/JMU winner at 8:30 p.m.

The semifinals are at for 3 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. Sunday, with the CAA championship game set at 7 p.m. Monday.

The Series

The teams first met in a 1995-96 tournament at Montana State (Bozeman, Mont.), and began playing regularly in 2001-02 after Drexel joined the CAA.  They've never met in post-season play.

The teams met twice each season during Drexel's first four years in the CAA and once during each of the last four years under the CAA's scheduling format.

The 1995-96 meeting was a first-round contest, and Drexel went on to win the event after a 75-55 victory over JMU.

Drexel won the series' first 12 games until JMU defeated the Dragons 66-60 last season at the JMU Convocation Center.

Drexel won twice this season - 78-57 Jan. 20 on its court after trailing 29-27 at halftime and 67-64 Feb. 27 at JMU after trailing 30-22 at halftime.

At Drexel, JMU increased its lead to 34-29 by the 17:40 mark of the final half before the Dragons took control with a 14-2 scoring burst.  Jamie Harris had 16 of his game-high 20 points during the second half to lead Drexel.  Junior forward Denzel Bowles (Virginia Beach, Va./Kempsville) with 19 points and sophomore forward Julius Wells (Toledo, Ohio/Libbey) with 11 led JMU.

At JMU, Samme Givens had 19 of his game-high 21 points during the second half to lead Drexel.  The Dragons trailed 30-18 during the first half but out-rebounded JMU 40-28 and collected 19 offensive rebounds.  They hit on six straight free throws during the final 40.3 seconds and 21 of 24 overall.  Senior guard Pierre Curtis (Denver, Colo./East) with 15 points led four JMU players in double figures in scoring.

Virginia 529 College Savings Plan
CAA Men's Basketball Championship
March 5-8, 2010 - Richmond Coliseum - Richmond, Va.

Friday, March 5
G1 - #8 Towson vs. #9 UNC Wilmington - Noon
G2 - #5 VCU vs. #12 Delaware - 2:30 p.m.
G3 - #7 Hofstra vs. #10 Georgia State - 6 p.m.
G4 - #6 Drexel vs. #11 James Madison - 8:30 p.m.

Saturday, March 6
G5 - #1 Old Dominion vs. Towson/UNC Wilmington winner - Noon (The Comcast Network)
G6 - #4 George Mason vs. Virginia commonwealth/Delaware winner - 2:30 p.m. (The Comcast Network)
G7 - #2 Northeastern vs. Hofstra/Georgia State winner - 6 p.m. (The Comcast Network)
G8 - #3 William & Mary vs. Drexel/JMU winner - 8:30 p.m. (The Comcast Network)

Sunday, March 7
G9 - Winner of Game 5 vs. Winner of Game 6 - 3 p.m. (The Comcast Network)
G10 - Winner of Game 7 vs. Winner of Game 8 - 5:30 p.m. (The Comcast Network)

Monday, March 8
CAA Championship Game - 7 p.m. (ESPN)

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