WILLIAMSBURG, Va., Jan. 8, 2011 - James Madison used a 14-2 run in the final 3:29 to turn a 77-70 deficit into an 84-79 victory over William and Mary in a Colonial Athletic Association men's basketball game Saturday night at Kaplan Arena at William and Mary Hall.
JMU improved to 13-3 overall and 3-1 in the CAA. The Dukes won their seventh in a row for their longest winning streak since the 1993-94 season and equaled their win total from last year (13-20) just 16 games into the season. JMU also won its fourth straight on the road for the first time since spanning the 1997-98 and 1998-99 seasons. W&M lost its sixth in a row to drop to 4-11 overall and 0-4 in the CAA.
W&M led 77-70 at the final media timeout with 3:29 to go. Out of the timeout redshirt sophomore guard Devon Moore (Columbus, Ohio/Northland) hit two free throws to ignite JMU's comeback.
Marcus Kitts was fouled away from the basket and hit one free throw to make it 78-72. Redshirt sophomore forward Andrey Semenov (St. Petersburg, Russia/Blue Ridge School) followed with a deep 23-footer at the top of the circle to cut the lead to three.
Senior guard Ben Louis (Melbourne, Australia/St. Francis Xavier) knocked away Quinn McDowell's pass on the next Tribe possession. Junior guard Humpty Hitchens (Chillicothe, Ohio/Chillicothe) hit a three from the left corner to tie it at 78-78 with 2:47 to go.
The teams traded possessions and Brandon Britt regained the lead for the Tribe at 79-78 by making one of his two free-throw attempts with 1:41 remaining.
Moore was then fouled on JMU's possession. After hitting the first, his second was rebounded by senior forward Denzel Bowles (Virginia Beach, Va./Kempsville) and laid in for JMU's first lead since the 14:23 mark of the first half at 81-79.
The Tribe then missed a three. After a timeout, Moore ran down the shot clock and drove right. With Bowles covered tight trying to roll off a ball screen, Moore hit a clutch 10-foot fade-away on the right baseline for an 83-79 lead with 18 seconds left.
W&M missed another three and Bowles was fouled on the rebound, hitting one of his two attempts with 5.6 seconds on the clock. Semenov tipped away the Tribe's full-court inbounds pass to clinch the 84-79 triumph.
Hitchens led six Dukes in double figures with 17 points, which included 5-of-6 shooting from the arc. Bowles had his seventh double-double with 14 points, 12 rebounds, two assists, two blocks, and two steals. Junior forward Julius Wells (Toledo, Ohio/Libbey) came just short of his first double-double with 10 points, nine boards, and two assists.
Moore was clutch as usual down the stretch with eight points and two assists in the final four minutes while finishing with 11 points and five assists. Semenov added 13 points and six rebounds while junior forward Rayshawn Goins (Cleveland, Ohio/Glenville) posted 12 points and six boards.
W&M also put six in double figures with Kitts leading the way with 16 to go with five boards and five blocks. He had the final Tribe field goal on a layup with 3:38 to go. W&M had just three missed three-pointers and 2-for-4 shooting at the line the rest of the way.
JohnMark Ludwick added 15 points with four treys and four assists. McDowell had 13 with four assists. Julian Boatner, Brandon Britt, and Tim Rusthoven each added 10.
JMU won despite leading for a total of 3:08 in the game. The Dukes shot 50% from the field and 45% on three-pointers. They also led in rebounds 42-22 with 15 offensive boards leading to a 13-0 advantage in second-chance points.
W&M shot 51% from the floor and 33% from the arc. After hitting 6-of-12 from long range in the first period, the Tribe hit just 1-of-9 in the final 20 minutes. W&M benefitted from an advantage at the line, hitting 22-of-32 free throws while JMU made 12 on 19 attempts. Five Dukes finished with four or more fouls.
The Tribe led most of the first half, grabbing a lead as large as eight at 28-20 with 10 minutes to go. JMU used a 9-1 run to pull within a point at 30-29 and later tied the score at 37-37. However, the Tribe benefitted from JMU being in the double bonus with 13 team fouls, including a bench technical, and used free throws to pull away to a 46-42 lead at the half.
The half featured hot shooting for both teams with JMU hitting 58.6% from the field and 40% at the arc. W&M shot 52% from the floor and hit six of its 12 three-pointers. The Tribe benefitted from the 13 fouls, going 12-for-16 at the line compared to just 4-of-5 for the Dukes.
Hitchens had 11 in the half, including three from the arc. Goins added 10 for the Dukes. W&M, which had just two turnovers in the half, was led by Ludwick with 11, McDowell with 10, and Kitts with nine.
JMU will return home on Wednesday for a 7 p.m. game against Georgia State at the Convo. The Panthers handed the Dukes an early CAA loss on Dec. 4 with a 64-63 win on a buzzer-beating basket. It will be the first home game of the season with students on campus.
NOTES: At 13-3, the Dukes have tied the 1981-82 squad with the best 16-game record at the Division I level (since 1976-77)... JMU entered the week sharing the national lead in wins on the opponent's court and improved to 6-3 on the road with the victory... six players reached double figures in a game for the Dukes for the first time since a 99-96 overtime setback at Hofstra in February of 2009... an opponent had six in double figures for the first time since 2006... JMU improved to 44-34 in the all-time series with the Tribe.