Dragons Down Dukes With Big Second Half

By: JMUSports.com
By: JMUSports.com

Sixth-year senior guard Chris Fouch scored 26 points, including 19 in the second half as Drexel used a 21-4 second-half charge to claim a 78-60 Colonial Athletic Association men’s basketball win over James Madison on Saturday afternoon at the Daskalakis Athletic Center.

DU evened its CAA mark at 5-5 while improving to 13-10 overall while JMU fell to 8-16 overall and 3-7 in the CAA.

Sophomore guards Charles Cooke (Trenton, N.J./Trenton Catholic) and Ron Curry (Pennsauken, N.J./Paul VI) led JMU with 18 and 17 points, respectively. Cooke was 4-for-5 from the floor, including making both three-point attempts, to go with 8-for-10 from the line and six rebounds.

Fouch was 8-for-15 shooting for Drexel, including 5-for-10 from the arc. Fellow guard Frantz Massenat added 16 points for the Dragons while Rodney Williams posted a double-double with 14 points, 10 rebounds and four blocks.

It was a one-point game at the half, 36-35 Drexel, and still a one-point lead for the Dragons at 39-38 through the first minute and a half of the second period. However, Dartaye Ruffin’s tip in was followed by a layup in traffic and a 3-pointer by Massenat as Drexel built its largest lead of the game to that point, 46-38, three minutes into the half.

The Dragons pushed the run to 12-0, capped by a layup from Williams. The Dukes briefly halted the charge with buckets by Cooke and Curry but the first of Fouch’s four second-half 3-pointers started a 7-0 spurt for Drexel to leave the Dukes staring at a 60-44 deficit with 8:32 remaining. JMU got no closer than 12 points while converting just two field goals the rest of the way as Drexel went on for the 18-point victory.

Madison had just five field goals in the second half while earning 15 of their points on 20 free throw attempts. The Dukes shot 5-for-20 in the period after 48 percent in the first half. JMU also missed its final eight three-point attempts after a 6-for-10 start to the game.

Drexel shot better than 50 percent in each half to finish 54.7 percent for the game and 7-for-15 (47 percent) from the arc. The Dragons held a 36-24 advantage on the glass, including 24-14 over the final 23 minutes of play.

Drexel claimed the early advantage in the first half, building a lead as large as seven points at 19-12 before the Dukes made their move. Back-to-back 3-pointers from graduate forward Andrey Semenov (St. Petersburg, Russia/Blue Ridge School) and freshman guard Jackson Kent (High Point, N.C./High Point) quickly cut the deficit to 19-18. Madison finally tied the score at 23-23 on another Semenov three and took the lead for the first time since the opening basket on a Curry turnaround jumper in the lane.

With the score tied at 26-26, the Dukes built their largest lead of the game as Curry connected on a left corner 3-pointer and Semenov converted a three-point play in the lane for a 32-26 lead with 3:09 on the clock.

However, Drexel finished the last three minutes on a 10-3 swing. Tavon Allen’s jumper started a 10-1 run. Massenat added a pair of layups, the latter in transition to put the Dragons up 36-33 with 22 seconds left. Then with the clock winding down, Cooke penetrated and drew a foul with 1.9 seconds remaining. He hit both to pull Madison within a point at 36-35 at the break.

Cooke led JMU with 11 points in the half, followed by Semenov with nine and Curry with eight. Massenat had 11 in the half for Drexel followed by Williams with nine. Both teams shot well in the half with Drexel at 52 percent and JMU at 48 percent, including 6-for-12 from the arc.

JMU has a tight turnaround to a 7 p.m. home game on Monday against Hofstra. The contest will be televised on Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic and Philadelphia as well as SportsNet New York (SNY).

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