Dukes drop heartbearker in final men's game at Convocation Center

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HARRISONBURG, Va. -- Junior guard Matt Lewis scored 18 points to lead four Dukes in double figures for the second game in a row on Saturday evening, but a hot-shooting William & Mary team knocked off the Dukes, 78-74 in the final men's basketball game in the history of the Convocation Center.

The James Madison men's basketball team lost to William & Mary, 78-74, in the program's final game at the Convocation Center.

The Dukes (9-18, 2-14 CAA) trailed by as many as 14, but mounted multiple furious charges in the second half, taking the lead with less than three minutes to play. However, William & Mary (20-10, 12-5 CAA) hit 27 of 49 shots (55.1%) on the evening, including an eye-popping 11 of 21 (52.4%) three-pointers to hold JMU off.

Lewis led the offensive charge as the Dukes shot 56.3% (18-of-32) in the second half, racking up 18 points on the evening, while adding four boards, four assists and a pair of steals. Junior Darius Banks added 12 points to go with a career-high six assists, while sophomore Deshon Parker and junior Dwight Wilson chipped in 12 and 10 points, respectively.

Luke Loewe led the way for William & Mary, hitting 10 of his 11 shots and six of his seven three-pointers on his way to 27 points.

After a back-and-forth opening stretch, the Tribe used nine straight points to take a 23-13 lead at the 10:30 mark, an advantage that they would push to as many as 14. Trailing 38-24 with 2:26 to play in the half, the Dukes scored the final seven points of the period to go into the break down 38-31.

JMU kept the momentum going after halftime, scoring the first seven points to level things at 38-38. W&M would eventually open up another nine-point lead, but the Dukes again fought back, tying things at 67-67 and eventually taking a 72-71 lead on a Jacobs three-pointer with 2:58 to play.

After tying things against at 74-74 with 2:28 left, the Tribe would score the next bucket and back-to-back go-ahead three-pointers from JMU found iron as W&M was able to see out the victory.

"I was really proud of the way we battled today. I thought we played well enough to win, but I'm thankful that we were able to fight and honor this building the last time we're going to play here. I wanted our guys to feel the things and feel the crowd that we felt when we played here. I'm proud of them for that."

- Junior Matt Lewis scored his 1,518th career point in the loss, moving him into sixth place all-time at JMU, just 15 behind Darren McLinton (1992-96 | 1,533) in fifth.
- Prior to the game, the Dukes honored their lone senior, Antanee Pinkard, who picked up his first career start, grabbing a pair of rebounds and a career-high two steals.
- Junior Zach Jacobs knocked down a pair of three-pointers, matching his career high.

The Dukes will hit the road for the final regular-season weekend of the year, travelling north to open the weekend with an 8 p.m. matchup at Northeastern on Thursday, Feb. 27. On Saturday, the Huskies improved to 14-14 (8-8 CAA) with a 77-68 win at Drexel.