Moore Powers Dukes Over Seahawks, 63-56
Courtesy: UNCW Athletic Communications
WILMINGTON, North Carolina - Senior guard Devon Moore keyed a late spurt in the second half to help James Madison break away from UNCW and earn a sweep of the Colonial Athletic Association men's basketball regular season series, 63-56, Monday night at Trask Coliseum.
The Dukes won their third straight game to improve to 12-10 overall and 6-3 in the CAA. The Seahawks lost for only the second time in nine tries at home and fell to 8-12 and 3-5.
Moore led JMU's balanced scoring attack with 19 points on 8-of-11 shooting and scored 15 of his points in the decisive second half. Senior forward Rayshawn Goins added a double-double of 11 points and 12 rebounds and freshman guard Andre Nation chipped in 11 points and five boards.
Senior forward Keith Rendleman posted his 11th double-double of the season and 33rd of his career for UNCW with 20 points and 13 rebounds. Junior guard Chris Dixon contributed 16 points and a team-high four assists and sophomore forward Cedrick Williams had 10.
"JMU had too many second and third chances and Devon Moore made a big difference down the stretch," said third-year UNCW head coach Buzz Peterson. "We could never get things going in transition and get stops. Hats off to JMU. Devon Moore hit some big shots and we could not stop him."
The two teams locked up in tight duel in the early going and JMU carried a 26-25 edge into the break before the Dukes, who won the first meeting, 78-50 on Jan. 9 in Harrisonburg, rallied midway through the final period to win for the second time on the road this season.
Dixon banked in a layup, was fouled and converted the three-point play 59 seconds into the second half to give the Seahawks their first lead since the 16-minute mark of the opening period, 28-26, and a pair of free throws by Rendleman pushed the margin to 33-28 at 16:37.
A Dixon triple from the left corner pushed the lead to six points, 40-34, but JMU reeled off eight unanswered points as part of a 16-4 run that helped the Dukes gain separation.
Nation started the run with a pair of free throws and capped it by tipping in an in-bounds play at 5:09 to give the Dukes a 50-44 advantage. Moore scored five points early in the spurt as the Dukes took advantage of a cold spell by the Seahawks.
Dixon made a driving layup to cut the lead to four points, 55-51, with 1:11 remaining, but the Dukes went a perfect 8-for-8 at the free throw line in the final minute to preserve the win.
"We're obviously thrilled to get a road win in the conference," said JMU fifth-year skipper Matt Brady. "It's hard to do in college basketball. Devon Moore was tremendous. We did ride him in the second half."
Both teams started off flat, but JMU picked up the pace after the Seahawks went ahead, 7-6, with 15:48 left when reserve guard Luke Hager connected on the second of two free throws.
JMU responded by scoring nine of the next 11 points to inch out to a 15-9 advantage. Goins scored five straight points and after Craig Ponder sank two free throws for UNCW, A.J. Davis added four points and his tip dunk at 12:08 staked the Dukes to a 15-9 margin.
UNCW went 6:19 without a field goal, missing eight field goal attempts, before Rendleman broke the drought with a bank shot at 9:51 to slice the lead to 15-11. The Dukes later registered their largest lead of the first period when sophomore forward Enoch Hood picked up a loose rebound and made a bucket in the paint for a 26-19 lead with 3:17 left.
UNCW closed out the first half by scoring the final six points and a putback by Williams with just over a minute to play cut the gap to 26-25 at intermission.
The Seahawks open a two-game road trip to the mid-Atlantic region on Saturday with a 2 p.m. tip-off at Delaware before moving over to Towson on Monday. The Dukes entertain George Mason on Saturday at 4 p.m.
GAME NOTES: UNCW leads the all-time series by a 33-31 margin...Both teams made four treys in the contest...JMU outrebounded UNCW, 42-30...The Dukes had 10 steals...UNCW outscored JMU, 35-26, in the paint...JMU shot 40 percent from the field and UNCW went 39.6 percent...The Seahawks had 13 turnovers...Rendleman played a game-high 39 minutes...JMU went 15-of-23 at the free throw line...The Dukes had 17 offensive rebounds...UNCW was 10-of-16 at the charity stripe...Williams added six rebounds off the bench for the Seahawks.