Dukes and Huskies meet in CAA title tilt
Richmond, VA (Sports Network) - After a thrilling semifinal round the Colonial Athletic Association will name a champion on Monday when the James Madison Dukes battle the Northeastern Huskies in the Conference Tournament finals at Richmond Coliseum.
Devon Moore's free throws with four seconds remaining lifted the Dukes past Delaware, 58-57, during their semifinal matchup on Sunday. With the win the Dukes are now just one victory away from their third 20-win season since 2009. James Madison has not made a trip to the CAA Tournament finals since 1997 and has not secured a conference crown since 1994.
Northeastern also won in thrilling fashion to get to Monday's final with Jonathan Lee getting a layup to fall with three seconds left to give the Huskies a 69-67 win over George Mason. The Huskies were the regular season champs of the CAA and have picked up their first 20-win season since 2010. The Huskies are now an even 7-7 all time in this event but are still in search of their first title.
These teams met just once in the regular season with Northeastern securing a 66-64 win in Boston on a last-second jumper from David Walker. The win was the 11th in 14 all-time meetings between the two squads.
In a game that featured six ties and 10 lead changes, James Madison was able to grab a win against Delaware by rallying from a five-point deficit in the final three minutes capped by Moore's free-throws. A.J. Davis was the lead scorer in the contest for the Dukes with 16 points.
Davis has been playing extremely well through the first two rounds of the Tournament as he is averaging 18 points per contest after managing just 11.5 per game in the regular season. Moore (11.5 ppg) has also seen an increase in his scoring in the postseason with a 20-point effort in the first round along with the 14 he scored against Delaware. Rayshawn Goins (12.6 ppg, 7.2 rpg) was the leading scorer during the regular season but he managed just four points on 2-of-7 shooting against the Blue Hens. As a team the Dukes are scoring 65 points per game and shooting just under 42 percent from the field while owning a razor thin scoring margin (+0.4).
Northeastern also had to overcome a deficit late in the second half to get to the finals. The Huskies trailed by six with 2:54 left against George Mason but ended the game on an 8-0 run capped by Lee's game-winner to secure the victory.
The Huskies have been the top scoring team in the CAA this season netting a league best 70.1 points per game while ranking second in assists (14.2 pg) and field-goal percentage (.449). The Huskies have their own powerful backcourt with Joel Smith (16.4 ppg) and Lee (13.8 ppg, 4.1 apg) leading the way from the wings. The pair combined for 28 points against George Mason while Smith rattled in four shots from beyond the arc. Quincy Ford (12.8 ppg, 5.7 rpg) and Reggie Spencer (10.0 ppg, 6.2 rpg) patrol the interior for the Huskies who have had a weakness in their ability to crash the glass, ranking last in the CAA in rebounds (30.1 pg).
03/11 11:12:26 ET