Hens lose heartbreaker in final seconds vs. JMU
Published: Monday, February 18, 2013
Updated: Monday, February 18, 2013 21:02
The bang of head coach Monté Ross’ clipboard being slammed to the court in frustration was the only sound heard over the cheering James Madison crowd in the Bob Carpenter Sports Center Sunday night as the Hens watched in disbelief.
With just 1 second left in the game, Delaware got in position to defend an inbound pass from the baseline. James Madison guard Devon Miller lobbed the ball up in front of the hoop as guard Andre Nation separated himself from the Hens’ defense and caught the pass, finishing the alley-oop for his only basket and giving them a 72-71 lead with 0.6 seconds left.
Delaware heaved a final toss that missed the basket and fell out of bounds.
“I’m competitive either way,” sophomore guard Jarvis Threatt said. “My team is competitive, but this loss hurts a little more. We feel like we should have won that game, and its unfortunate how it turned out.”
Delaware took a 71-70 lead with 24 seconds left in the game when junior guard Devon Saddler made a layup on a fast break. On the following possession senior forward Jamelle Hagins blocked a shot by James Madison forward Rayshawn Goins and was immediately fouled.
Standing at the free-throw line with 8 seconds left shooting a one-and-one, Hagins missed the shot and James Madison grabbed the rebound. After moving the ball up the court, the Dukes took a timeout and drew up the final play.
Threatt, who had 12 points, four rebounds, four assists and two steals in the effort, pointed to a miscommunication at the end of the game that allowed Nation to get open.
He said the Hens were running a switch and expected Hagins to stay in the paint, but instead the forward followed the player he was guarding. The mistake led to Nation being open for the easy finish.
Saddler had a team-high 23 points, eight rebounds, four assists and two steals but also a game-high five turnovers.
“I feel like I let my team down on that last play,” Saddler said. “As a captain, I am supposed to step up but things like this happen, and we need to come back and prepare for Drexel.”
The loss snapped Delaware’s three-game winning streak and gave James Madison the season-sweep of Delaware. After defeating CAA leader Northeastern on Wednesday, the Hens moved into second place in the conference, but Sunday’s loss allowed James Madison to move into sole possession of second place behind Northeastern.
Hagins had 11 rebounds in the game, bringing his career total to 999. He added six points and two blocks but sat for almost 10 minutes in the second half after getting into foul trouble.
The Hens had 11-point leads in both the first and second halves but saw each lead quickly disappear, thanks in large part to the Dukes’ 3-point shooting. James Madison, whose season 3-point shooting average is 35 percent, shot just under 48 percent from beyond the arc Sunday night.
“It’s a game of runs,” Ross said. “Basketball is ebb and flow where you are going to be able to make some runs and the other team is going to make some runs back at you. You just have to be able to withstand it and we weren’t able to withstand it tonight.”
James Madison’s bench outscored Delaware’s, 28-8 behind guard A.J. Davis who recorded 16 points, five assists and two steals.
Sophomore guard Kyle Anderson scored 16 points, was a perfect 6-for-6 from the free-throw line and had six rebounds
The Hens return to action on Thursday against Drexel at the Bob Carpenter Sports Center.
With just four games remaining until the start of the CAA Tournament, Ross emphasized the importance of learning from the loss and looking ahead to their next opponent.
“We didn’t play particularly well, but we put ourselves in a position to win the game at the end but we just couldn’t close the deal,” Ross said. “We will bounce back it’s a resilient group.”