Dukes drop fifth straight in road loss at William & Mary
Junior guard Darius Banks scored 24 points and junior guard Matt Lewis added 22, but James Madison could not recover from an early onslaught and fell to William & Mary 88-75 on Thursday in Colonial Athletic Association men's basketball action at Kaplan Arena.
Banks and Lewis' stellar scoring performances led the Dukes (8-11, 1-7 CAA) in the contest. Lewis added six rebounds and two steals, while sophomore guard Deshon Parker helped out with 14 points and four steals.
The Dukes struggled to slow down the William & Mary (15-6, 7-1 CAA) offense, as the Tribe hit 33 of its 57 shots (57.9%) on the evening, including a 48% (12-of-20) clip from the three-point line. The Tribe put the Dukes in an early hole, hitting nine of its first 15 three-pointers.
Despite the loss, JMU forced 16 William & Mary turnovers while committing only nine themselves in Thursday's game. The Dukes turned those takeaways into 26 points on the offensive end of the floor. Parker's four steals led the way for JMU.
W&M followed behind its senior forwards, as Andy Van Vliet racked up 22 points, eight blocks and seven rebounds, while Nathan Knight tallied a double-double with 19 points and 11 boards, adding four blocks of his own.
The Tribe scored early and often to put JMU in a hole, pushing the lead to double-digits for the first time in just over six minutes and for good at the 6:42 mark before halftime, eventually taking a 48-34 lead into the break.
W&M scored the first eight points of the second half to push the advantage to 22 and eventually lead by as many as 28 before the Dukes battled back, chopping the deficit to as few as 11 in the closing minutes.
"Really tough game for us tonight. We weren't as connected as we need to be at times, especially defensively, and that kind of thing leads to the sort of openings you can't give a really experienced team at home. We have to regroup and get ready for another road game on Saturday."
- Junior guard Darius Banks now has 978 career points, leaving him just 22 points shy of becoming the 33rd JMU player in program history to score 1,000 points in his career.
- The Dukes racked up 11 steals on the evening, their best such performance against Division I competition during the 2019-20 season.
The Dukes will stay on the road over the weekend, traveling south to take on Elon in a 4 p.m. matchup on Saturday, Jan. 25. On Thursday evening, the Phoenix dropped a 72-61 decision against Towson to fall to 5-16 (1-7 CAA) on the season.