Harrisonburg, VA – Meeting for the second time in nine days, the James Madison Dukes Men’s Basketball team roared past the Thundering Herd of Marshall on Sunday afternoon at the JMU Convocation Center, 107-84.
JMU (6-3) came in riding the wave of a four-game win streak after defeating Western Michigan three days ago. The Dukes clamped down on the Broncos holding them to 33% shooting from the field last time out but today it was all about the offense. JMU’s timely three-point shooting broke the game open after leading 47-35 at the break and the Dukes cruised to victory over the winless Herd (0-6).
Marshall’s woes continued as they shot a meager 43% (31-of-72) from the floor including a 19% (7-of-36) performance from behind the arc. The Herd were also outrebounded 54-34 by the Dukes. JMU’s rebound advantage was prevalant on the offensive end as the Dukes had 17 offensive rebounds which led to 18 second-chance points.
Marshall head coach, former NBA assistant, Dan D’Antoni, touched on his team’s inability to make shots in the post-game press conference.”In this game you gotta make shots and if you can’t make shots then you won’t win very many games. We live on lay-ups, foul shots and threes. You’re not gonna win very many ball games when one of your three is less than that (30%) so…”
Two bright spots for the Thundering Herd were forwards James Kelly and Ryan Taylor. Kelly, a 6-7, senior transfer from Miami (FL), led the Herd in scoring with 21 points on 8-of-12 shooting. He also snagged a game-high 11 rebounds. Kelly was a jack-of-all-trades for the Herd as he spearheaded Marshall’s 1-2-1-1 press and also handled the ball well, leading several fast breaks and breaking any JMU pressure.
Taylor is a 6-5, junior forward who, much like Kelly, does a little bit of everything for Marshall. Before fouling out, Taylor had 19 points on 7-of-9 shooting, grabbed five boards and handed out four assists.
Both players do several things well and were physical, athletic and attacking all game long. JMU head coach Matt Brady noted as much in his press conference. “Kelly and Ryan Taylor are really hard match-ups and they really made hard, quick, fast drives going downhill to the rim. They’re really difficult match-ups and that’s why they’re having such statistically good seasons.”
JMU had four players in double figures, led by 6-6, junior guard Shakir Brown who finished the night with 30 points on 9-of-15 shooting including 5-of-9 from deep. Brown also had eight rebounds and three assists for the Dukes.
Brady was pleased with Brown’s scoring output but there’s another aspect of his game that Brady chose to focus. “As pleased as I am with his (Brown) ability to score, it’s really his passing ability, his basketball IQ that makes us a better basketball team on the offensive end. He always knows where the ball should go and not everybody at this level does…know where the next pass, where the ball should be at all times. He is a guy, obviously, that is very explosive but it’s his passing ability that helps us become a better team.”
All-Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) guard Ron Curry (6-3, senior) finished with his 14th career 20-point game, netting an even 20 on 7-of-11 shooting along with seven rebounds. Dimitrije Cabarkapa (6-10, r-Jr.) continued his hot shooting ending his night with 18 points, going 6-of-11 from the floor. Jackson Kent (6-7, junior guard) was on triple-double alert as he went for nine points, 11 boards and seven assists. Junior forward Tom Vodanovich finished with a double-double (10 points, 10 rebounds) for JMU.
James Madison is off until Saturday, December 12th, when they host old CAA rival, George Mason, at the Convo. Marshall will try to pick up its first win of the season when they host Eastern Illinois on December 9th.
This article was written by Jeremy Hartman, a correspondent and scout for NetScouts Basketball. You can subscribe to our RSS feed from the upper right corner of our home page, follow us on Facebook, or on twitter.
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