James Madison men’s basketball will play its second of three straight home games when it takes on Drexel on Wednesday night at 7 p.m. in the JMU Convocation Center. The game will be televised on Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic Plus, The Comcast Network in Philadelphia and Comcast/Charter Sports Southeast (CSS).
In their last outing, the Dukes claimed a 64-62 victory over UNCW to improve to 10-17 overall and 5-8 within the Colonial Athletic Association. With 4:18 remaining in the game, the Seahawks took their first lead since midway through the first half. Sophomore guard Charles Cooke reclaimed the lead with a jumper, then fellow guard Ron Curry went on to score the next six points for JMU, including a turnaround jumper with 32 seconds remaining to give Madison the win.
JMU had four players record double-figures in the game, led by graduate student Andrey Semenov who collected 18 points. Curry posted 13 in addition to eight rebounds, four assists and two steals. Cooke and sophomore guard Andre Nation each had 10 with five boards while Nation also tied the school record with seven steals.
Drexel will be traveling to Harrisonburg following a 74-63 home victory over Hofstra. The Dragons led with just under 12 minutes to play when Hofstra made a free throw to make it a 47-44 game. Drexel responded with 10 straight points, as the Pride failed to cut the lead to single digits the remainder of the game. Senior guard Frantz Massenat posted 24 points along with seven assists for the Dragons while graduate guard Chris Fouch accumulated 14 points. Forwards Rodney Williams and Dartaye Ruffin added 11 and 10 points, respectively.
When the two teams faced each other earlier this season, Drexel took home the 78-60 victory, thanks to a 21-4 run early in the second half. Fouch led Drexel with 26 points, while Massenat and Williams scored 16 and 14 points for the Dragons. Cooke led the Dukes with 18 points and six boards, while Curry followed with 17 points. Semenov accumulated an additional 12 points for JMU.
Both James Madison and Drexel share similar rankings in scoring defense, free throw percentage and three-point shooting within the conference, as the two teams rank back-to-back in each of the three categories. JMU is currently ranked fourth in scoring defense in the CAA, averaging 68.1 points a game, while Drexel is ranked fifth with 68.3 points a game. In terms of free throw percentage, the Dragons rank third with .693, while the Dukes are in fourth with .683. The teams are seventh and eighth in three-point field goals, as Drexel averages .313 and James Madison is currently averaging .272.
Entering the game, both teams will feature players with Rookie of the Week accolades in JMU’s Yohanny Dalembert and Drexel’s Williams. Dalembert, who averaged 1.5 points and 2.1 rebounds in the first 24 games for the Dukes- averaged 7.7 points, 5.7 rebounds and 1.0 blocks in Madison’s three-game week, including a 15-point, 13-rebound performance against Delaware. Williams earned the honors for his second time this season, averaging 9.5 points, 6.0 rebounds, and 1.5 blocks in Drexel’s 1-1 performance last week.
After its game against Drexel, James Madison will take on Towson in its final home game of the year on February 26th at 7 p.m. in the Convocation Center.