Lewis, Dukes Rally Past First-Place Hofstra In OT

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HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. (JMU Athletics) -- Sophomore guard Matt Lewis drilled an off-balance three-pointer as regulation ended to force overtime to give James Madison the chance to pick up a hard-fought 104-99 victory over first-place Hofstra in Colonial Athletic Association men's basketball at the Mack Sports Complex on Saturday night.

The Dukes (13-16, 6-10 CAA) used nine straight points late in the second half to erase a late deficit, but saw Hofstra (23-6, 13-3 CAA) go back up, 89-86, with 3.8 seconds on the clock with a pair of free throws.

Lewis took the inbound pass, dribbled straight to the right wing and pulled up right in front of the JMU bench, drilling the trey as the horn sounded after double-clutching to avoid a Hofstra defender.

On the evening, Lewis racked up an eye-popping 40 points, tied for the fifth-best scoring night in JMU history, while adding seven rebounds, a career-high seven assists, a block and a steal while turning the ball over just once across 43 minutes. In all, Lewis hit 11 of 22 shots, a career-high six of his nine threes and all 12 of his free throws in one of the best individual games in school history.

In the extra period, the Pride stormed out to a five-point lead, but the Dukes scored nine points in two possessions with the help of threes from Lewis and senior Stuckey Mosley, as well as a pair of Hofstra fouls. After the 9-0 run, JMU was able to hold off the Pride as Lewis and sophomore Greg Jones combined to hit all four of their free throws in the final 18 seconds.

Mosley racked up 20 points on the evening, picking up six boards and three assists to lead four Dukes besides Lewis in double figures. Sophomore Dwight Wilson tallied 14 points and eight boards, while sophomore Darius Banks returned to rack up 12 points, four boards and four assists. Freshman Deshon Parker continued his strong play with 10 points and three assists across a career-high 41 turnover-free minutes.

In all, the Dukes shot 52.2 percent (36-of-69) from the field and hit 10 of their 20 free throws, while going a stellar 22-of-24 (91.7 percent) from the charity stripe. The win moves the Dukes into a tie for seventh in the league standings with one weekend remaining in the regular season, just two games out of fourth place.

Senior guard Justin Wright-Foreman racked up 33 points to lead Hofstra, hitting 12 of 18 shots from the field and six of 10 three-pointers.

"What a testament to these guys and the work they've put in. They came in to a packed house on a Senior Night against a great, experienced Hofstra team, took a huge run from them at the start of the half, then battled back and did all the little things late to win. Obviously, Matt had an incredible night and hit the shot to give us a chance, but we don't win this one without everyone doing their part. I'm extremely proud of them and extremely happy for them."

- The victory marked the Dukes' fourth in the last six games, including 104-point outings in wins at UNCW and Hofstra.
- After his historic scoring night, sophomore Matt Lewis now has 931 career points in less than two collegiate seasons.
- Lewis' 40 points were tied for the fifth-most in JMU history and were the most since Denzel Bowles (2009-11) scored 40 at Towson on Feb. 15, 2011. Of the seven 40-point nights in school history, only Lewis, Bowles and Kent Culuko (vs. Rutgers, 12/22/93) have accomplished the feat since 1979.
- Senior Stuckey Mosley now has 1,095 career points, putting him just six points behind Bowles for the second-most points ever scored by a two-year JMU player.
- Entering Saturday's contest, Hofstra had not lost at home this season, having gone 15-0 at the Mack Sports Complex in 2018-19.

1. Hofstra | 13-3 (23-6)
2. Northeastern | 12-4 (18-10)
3. Charleston | 11-6 (22-8)
4. Delaware | 8-8 (16-13)
5. William & Mary | 8-8 (12-16)
6. Drexel | 7-9 (13-16)
7. James Madison | 6-10 (13-16)
8. Towson | 6-10 (10-19)
9. Elon | 5-11 (9-20)
10. UNCW | 5-12 (9-21)

The Dukes will return home to close out the regular season next weekend, welcoming Elon (7 p.m. | Thursday, Feb. 28) and William & Mary (4 p.m. | Saturday, March 2) to the Convocation Center for the final contests of the year.