JMU roundup: Sharp shooting in second half boosts Dukes over Dragons

HARRISONBURG — James Madison University shot a remarkable 15-for-18 (83.3 percent) from the field in the second half to hold off a furious Drexel charge, earning a pivotal 82-78 Colonial Athletic Association men’s basketball win Wednesday night at the JMU Convocation Center.

The triumph, the fourth in as many contests, lifted the Dukes to 17-11 on the season, including a 10-5 mark in the CAA, which tied them for second place following Northeastern’s 75-64 win over William and Mary in Boston. JMU also clinched a top-six finish in the conference, earning a bye into Saturday’s quarterfinals at next month’s CAA Men’s Basketball Championship.

Junior guard Ron Curry scored 25 points on 5-for-9 shooting, including a 13-for-16 performance from the free-throw line, to lead four Dukes in double figures in the wire-to-wire victory. Sophomore forward Tom Vodanovich and redshirt sophomore forward Dimitrije Cabarkapa both poured in career-highs, scoring 18 and 12 points, respectively, while sophomore forward Yohanny Dalembert added 10 on 3-for-4 shooting.

The Dukes outrebounded Drexel 36-23 for the game, led by junior guard Winston Grays, who pulled down a game-high eight, which tied his single-game career best, while Vodanovich grabbed seven boards. Madison outscored Drexel 30-18 in the paint in a game which it led for more than 36 minutes.

The Dragons (10-16, 8-7 CAA) were led by the CAA’s leading scorer, Damion Lee, who scored a game-best 26 points, 18 in the second half, on 8-for-15 shooting. He also tied the team lead with six rebounds. Freddie Wilson tallied 16 points off the bench while Rashann London and Sammy Mojica contributed 13 and 11, respectively.

The Dukes shot 57.1 percent (24-42) from the floor as a team, while holding the Dragons to 43.1 percent (25-58). JMU also tied its season-best 3-point shooting night, hitting 61.5 percent (8-13) from beyond the arc, while cashing in on 78.8 percent (26-33) of its free throws, which was the most made from the line during CAA play.

Drexel also hit a season-best 14 treys on the night, finishing at 46.7 percent (14-30) from range, and was 82.4 percent (14-17) from the line in the defeat. The Dragons turned the ball over just six times, all of which occurred in the first half.

JMU will be back in action on Saturday when they welcome College of Charleston to the Convocation Center for a 7 p.m. contest. That game will be televised on Comcast SportsNet.