NORFOLK, Va. — Juniors Darius Banks, Matt Lewis and Zach Jacobs each scored at least 20 points as James Madison held off a furious Old Dominion charge on Wednesday night to pick up a big 80-78 victory at Chartway Arena in non-conference men's basketball.
JMU (3-2) led by as many as 15 late in the second half before the Monarchs (3-2) cut a 10-point advantage to one across the final minute. After Jacobs hit a free throw, ODU put up a straightaway running three-pointer that was waved off after the final horn, as the Dukes put the two-point win in the books.
Banks led the three players in double figures, putting together his best performance of the year so far in a 21-point, 10-rebound effort that saw him add five assists and four steals in his fourth career double-double. Lewis added 21 points, seven rebounds and five assists, while Jacobs chipped in as well with a career-high 20 points and four blocks.
On the evening, the Dukes fired on all cylinders from deep, hitting 13 of their 24 three pointers (54.2%) against a stout Old Dominion defense, while holding the Monarchs to 31.8% (7-of-22) shooting from behind the arc.
The Dukes led for the entirety of the second half after a back-and-forth opening period that saw them score the final six points before halftime to take a 37-32 lead into the break. ODU caught fire down the stretch though, erasing the JMU advantage by hitting 10 of its final 13 field goals as the Dukes struggled at the free throw line before the buzzer.
Xavier Green led ODU on the night with 19 points, while Malik Curry added 18 and Jason Wade posted 16 points and nine boards.
QUOTING COACH ROWE<\b>
"I'm just really proud of these guys tonight. Obviously, there is a lot to clean up for us after those final minutes, but they came into a really, really tough place to play and picked up a big win as we head towards this week at home. They're willing to work and build on things every day and that's all I can ask from them."
- Junior Zach Jacobs tallied four blocks for the second time this year, giving him 12 already on the year, an average of 2.4 per contest.
- The Dukes' win in Norfolk is just their seventh in the history of the series between JMU and ODU, improving their record to 7-35 in the series' road games.
- Junior Matt Lewis made eight free throws, moving him into the top-10 and up to eighth place in JMU history with 306 career makes from the stripe.
- With his four steals on Wednesday, junior Darius Banks is up to 113 for his career, just four steals outside the JMU career top 10.
The Dukes return home for the Thanksgiving holidays, opening a three-game homestand with a Convocation Center matchup against New Hampshire at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 23. The Wildcats bested Central Connecticut State in a 77-63 win on Tuesday to improve to 3-2 on the year.