JMU men's basketball's season ends in CAA tourney first round

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (Colonial Athletic Association) Marcus Sheffield’s 15-foot jumper with three seconds remaining gave 7th-seeded Elon a 63-61 win over #10 James Madison in the first round of the 2020 Hercules Tires CAA Men’s Basketball Championship on Saturday night at the Entertainment and Sports Arena.

JMU men's basketball head coach Louis Rowe consoles sophomore guard Deshon Parker after the team was eliminated in the first round of the CAA tournament by Elon.

Elon (12-20) advances to play second-seeded William & Mary at 6 p.m. on Sunday in the quarterfinals. JMU had its season come to a close with a 9-21 record.

The Phoenix trailed 60-53 with 2:22 to play, but Kris Wooten knocked down back-to-back 3-pointers that pulled Elon within 61-59 with 1:39 left. Following a JMU shot clock violation, Sheffield drove the left baseline and dunked the ball to tie the contest at 61-61 with 47 seconds to go. The Dukes misfired on a jumper on their next possession, setting the stage for Sheffield, who dribbled towards the lane on the left side and converted a step back jumper that gave Elon its only lead of the game.

Freshman Hunter Woods led five Elon players in double figures with 15 points and a team-high seven rebounds, while Federico Poser added 14 points off the bench on 7-of-9 FG shooting. JMU got a game-high 17 points from junior Matt Lewis and 11 points apiece from Dwight Wilson and Deshon Parker.

JMU sprinted out to a 14-0 lead in the game’s opening five minutes. Parker and freshman Julien Wooden drained 3-pointers to get things rolling and a layup by Zach Jacobs at the 15:24 mark capped the fast start.

However, Elon quickly responded as Poser and Woods combined for nine unanswered points to pull the Phoenix within five. The Dukes expanded the margin back to 12 (23-11) with 8:48 to go behind five straight points from Parker, but the Phoenix was able to trim the deficit to 34-28 by intermission.

Parker (11 points), Wooden (9) and Lewis (8) combined for 28 of JMU’s 34 points in the opening stanza, while the duo of Woods (12) and Poser (8) tallied 20 of the Phoenix’s 28 points.

Elon maintained the momentum early in the second half, using a 13-4 surge to tie the game at 41-41 on a Poser jumper from the lane with 14:24 left on the clock. With the game tied at 43-43, JMU reeled off nine straight points over the next six minutes capped by a Lewis layup that made it 52-43 with 6:56 remaining.

JMU shot a solid 45.3% from the floor and out-rebounded Elon 40-30, but was just 3-of-16 from 3-point range and was 10-of-17 at the free throw line. Elon shot 40% from the floor and only 27.6% from beyond the arc, but the Phoenix knocked down six of its eight three-pointers in the second half.