HARRISONBURG, Va. (JMU Athletics) Northeastern pushed its nine-point halftime lead to 15 points early in the second half on Saturday evening before holding off a furious charge from James Madison to hand the Dukes a 78-68 defeat in Colonial Athletic Association men's basketball action at the JMU Convocation Center.
The Dukes (9-13, 2-7 CAA) held Northeastern (12-9, 6-3 CAA) to just 35.3 percent shooting in the first half, but hit just eight of their own 27 (29.6 percent) field goals as the Huskies build a lead, then saw Northeastern hit six of its first seven shots after halftime to push the lead to double digits.
Senior guard Stuckey Mosley racked up 23 points to pace the Dukes, scoring 17 in the second half to help lead JMU's late surge, while sophomore guard Matt Lewis added 17 points and sophomore forward Zach Jacobs added 10 to go with five boards in just 17 minutes.
JMU trailed by as many as 20 with 5:43 to play, but battled nearly all the way back, eventually using a 10-0 run across just 2:11 to close the gap to 72-65 with 1:16 left, but would get no closer after a rebounding foul and missed three-pointer allowed Northeastern to push the gap back to double digits.
Jordan Roland led the way for Northeastern, hitting an eye-opening eight of his 12 three-pointers on his way to 29 points for the Huskies. Vasa Pusica added a double-double with 10 points and 10 boards.
QUOTING COACH ROWE
"I thought we left a lot on the table tonight. I was happy to see Zach contribute and give us a lot off the bench. Northeastern is a really good basketball team and we saw tonight the level that we want to play at for 40 minutes."
- The Dukes hit 13 of their 15 (86.7 percent) free throws, their second-best clip of the season.
- Sophomore guard Matt Lewis scored his 800th career point on Saturday, closing the evening with 811 points across just 54 collegiate games.
- Lewis racked up six boards on the evening, leading the Dukes for the first time this season.
- Sophomore guard Darius Banks blocked three shots on Thursday, matching his career high.
- On his way to his second double-digit scoring performance of the year, sophomore Zach Jacobs hit a pair of three-pointers for the first time in his career.
- Freshman Deshon Parker continued his strong play, racking up six assists for the third time this season to reach 60 on the season, compared to just 22 turnovers.
The Dukes hit the road this week for the first two legs of a three-game road trip, traveling south to face College of Charleston on Thursday, Jan. 31 (7 p.m.) before traveling to UNCW to close the weekend on Sunday, Feb. 2 (7 p.m.)