James Madison (6-4) vs, Stetson (4-7)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Friday, December 30th, 9:30 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: UCF Arena (10,000) -- Orlando, Florida. Television: None. Home Record: JMU 2-2, SU 3-2. Away Record: JMU 3-1, SU 1-4. Neutral Record: JMU 1-1, SU 0-1. Conference Record: JMU 1-0, SU 1-1. Series Record: First meeting.
GAME NOTES: The James Madison Dukes are looking to bounce back as they square off with the Stetson Hatters in the consolation game of the UCF Holiday Invitational in Orlando, Florida.
This will be the first meeting in series history between JMU and Stetson.
James Madison was shocked by the Rhode Island Rams on Thursday as they fell 79-61 in the opening round of the two-day tournament. The Dukes could not get anything going offensively in their loss as they made just 35 percent of their field goals and had 16 turnovers. Matt Brady's team entered Thursday's bout scoring 70.0 ppg on 44.8 percent shooting from the field and a CAA leading 40.9 percent from three-point range. On the defensive end, JMU has allowed opponents to score 67.9 ppg. The Dukes made just 33.3 percent of their shots from beyond the arc and allowed 79 points in the losing effort.
Coach Brady's backcourt might be the best in the CAA, but that did not appear to be the case on Thursday. A.J. Davis, who is leading the Dukes and is ranked third in the CAA in scoring, was held to just 10 points on 3-of-8 shooting from the field. Davis began the year with four-straight 20-plus point performances before going into a slump in December. He appeared to have found his shooting touch in games before the loss to Rhode Island, but fell off a bit last night. Humpty Hitchens, who is second on the squad in scoring and has been Mr. Clutch for JMU this year, had a dreadful game against URI as he scored just four points while making just 1-of-6 attempts from the floor. Julius Wells also joined the struggling Dukes with four points on 1-of-8 shooting from the field.
Stetson comes into tonight's bout on a four-game losing skid that has left it with a 4-7 record. The Hatters' latest struggle was a 70-60 loss to UCF on Thursday night. Stetson is led by first year head coach Casey Alexander, who spent the last several seasons as an assistant at Belmont. The Hatters have struggled away from home this season, winning just 1-of-5 road games and losing their only neutral court affair. Stetson shot just 37.5 percent from the floor and was outrebounded 43-33 in its loss to UCF.
Four players scored in double figures on Thursday night for Stetson. Adam Pegg led the team with 17 points from the center slot. The Hatters' leading scorer for the year, Chris Perez, had 15 points but went 6-of-17 from the field to arrive at that total. Aaron Graham and Joel Naburgs chipped in 14 points and 10, respectively. Liam McInerey was disappointing offensively in the loss as he went 0-of-4 from the field, but still managed to lead the team in rebounding with a total of five boards.
While James Madison might be able to get past Thursday's loss, Stetson has been struggling for some time now. The odds of the Dukes' talented backcourt being shut down on consecutive nights is not very high.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: James Madison 71, Stetson 64
12/30 10:37:21 ET