WILMINGTON, North Carolina – Sophomore guard Darius Banks exploded for 20 of his 22 points in the second half to help James Madison salvage a split in its regular season Colonial Athletic Association series against UNCW with a 104-95 men’s basketball victory on Saturday night at Trask Coliseum.
The Dukes snapped a five-game losing streak to improve to 10-14 overall and 3-8 in the CAA. The Seahawks, playing the annual Homecoming game, dropped their third in a row and stand 8-16 and 4-7.
JMU’s three-pronged attack of Banks, Stuckey Mosley and Matt Lewis combined for 68 points and the Dukes shot 59.3 percent on the night to avenge an 86-83 double overtime loss to the Seahawks back on Jan. 3, 2019, in Harrisonburg.
Mosley, a redshirt senior guard, led all scorers in the contest with his 27 points as all five starters reached double figures for the Dukes. Banks added 22 points, Lewis collected 19, Dwight Wilson scored 16 and Deshon Parker chipped in 14.
Sophomore guard Ty Gadsden paced four Seahawks in double figures with 24 points. Redshirt junior forward Jeantal Cylla added 20, junior guard Jaylen Fornes scored 14 and senior forward Devontae Cacok contributed 12 for the Seahawks.
Cacok gathered in 13 rebounds to register his NCAA-leading 18th double-double of the season and pushed his school-record career total to 53 over four years.
The Seahawks led by four points at intermission, but the Dukes caught up early in the final period and used a late spurt – keyed by stellar free throw shooting – to hold off the Seahawks.
Banks made the first of two free throws with 15:15 remaining to cap a 9-0 spurt and give JMU a 58-57 edge before the Seahawks took the lead again, 73-71, on a driving layup in the middle of the paint by Cylla at the 8:34 mark.
JMU responded with another spurt and Wilson’s bucket on the right baseline finished off a 9-0 rally to give the Dukes an 80-73 cushion. The Dukes scored their final 17 points at the charity stripe, sinking 17-of-18 attempts in the final 2:44 to nail down their first conference road win.
The two clubs came out firing and torched the nets in the first 20 minutes. UNCW shot 61.3 percent from the floor on 19-of-31 field goals, while JMU – behind Mosley’s 17 first-half points – connected on 58.6 percent on 17-of-29 makes in an entertaining first half.
UNCW trailed early before reeling off nine unanswered points for a 25-20 advantage on a driving layup by Cacok with 8:57 left in the first half.
The Dukes regrouped over the next four minutes, however, and registered their largest lead of the first period, 40-34, on a monster dunk by Develle Phillips with 4:30 left. Phillips had back-to-back slams in a string of six points for JMU.
But the Seahawks closed out the half with a 14-4 run to grab a 48-44 advantage at intermission. Cylla (14) and Fornes (10) each reached double figures in the first half as eight players scored for the Seahawks.
SERIES UPDATE: The Seahawks have won eight of the last 10 meetings between the two teams and lead the all-time series, 41-35. UNCW is 22-12 against JMU in Wilmington.
FIFTY-FIFTY: Both teams shot better than 50 percent in the game. JMU connected on 59.3 percent and UNCW hit 52.4 percent.
HOME RECORD: The Seahawks are now 4-8 at home this season and 2-5 in CAA home contests.
TIGHT QUARTERS: The game featured seven ties and 13 lead changes. There were seven lead changes in the final period.
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS: JMU entered the contest ranked seventh in the CAA in free throw shooting at 70.9 percent, but went 30-of-33 at the foul line for 90.9 percent.
KEY MOMENT: Trailing, 76-73, Mosley converted both ends of a one-and-one and Wilson followed with a basket on the right baseline to extend the margin to 80-73 with 7:12 on the clock.
QUOTABLE: “I’m obviously disappointed. I thought we played hard, but it just wasn’t enough. They made shots against our defense and they got to the basket. When we pressed up on them, they drove it and finished.”- UNCW Head Coach C.B. McGrath
NEXT UP: The Seahawks head back on the road next week when they travel to Philadelphia for a Thursday, Feb. 9, matchup against Drexel at the Daskalakis Center. UNCW then scoots down to Newark, Del., on Saturday to face Delaware’s Blue Hens at the Bob Carpenter Center.