JMU MBB picks up hard-fought win at UNCW

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WILMINGTON, N.C. (JMU Athletics) -- Junior guard Matt Lewis racked up 15 points on Thursday evening, including a crucial jumper with 1:22 to play, as James Madison battled its way to a hard-fought 64-60 victory over UNCW in Colonial Athletic Association action at Trask Coliseum.

Deshon Parker - JMU men's basketball

The Dukes (8-6, 1-2 CAA) had three players score in double figures, led by Lewis, who had 15 points and two steals. Sophomore guard Deshon Parker added 13 points and two steals, while junior forward Dwight Wilson helped out with his sixth double-double in seven games, racking up 11 points and matching his season high with 15 rebounds.

On the evening, JMU used a 39-32 rebounding advantage to repel repeated counter-attacks from the Seahawks (5-11, 0-3 CAA), holding UNCW to 39% (23-of-59) shooting for the game, a mark that included an impressive 27.6% (8-of-29) clip in the opening half.

Sophomore forward carded a 19-point, 10-rebound double-double to lead the way for UNCW.

HOW IT HAPPENED
After a physical start to the first half saw JMU take a 22-20 lead with two minutes left, the Dukes ripped off nine straight points to close the period, capped off by a Lewis three-pointer just before the horn that gave JMU a 31-20 lead at the break.

In the second half, the Dukes grew the lead to as many as 47-33 with 9:55 to play before UNCW began clawing back. The Seahawks hit 11 of their last 16 shots as they whittled the advantage down to as few as two with 14 seconds left, but Parker and junior Darius Banks each hit a free throw in the final seconds to hold UNCW off.

QUOTING COACH ROWE
"This was a typical road game in the CAA: really, really tough. They made us work and we knew we were going to have to push the ball inside. This took a team effort tonight and we got some great minutes from some guys off the bench to pick up an important win."

QUICK HITS
- This marks the second time this season and the fourth time in his career that junior forward Dwight Wilson has pulled down at least 15 rebounds.
- Thursday's performance is the third time in five games that JMU has held its opponent to 60 points.
- The Dukes have won consecutive games in Wilmington for the first time since the 2012-13 and 2013-14 seasons.

UP NEXT
The Dukes will stay on the road to close out this weekend, travelling farther south to face College of Charleston in a 4 p.m. matchup on Saturday, Jan. 4 at TD Arena. On Thursday night, the Cougars picked up an 81-69 win at home over Towson to improve to 9-6 (3-0 CAA) on the season.