Delaware Lets Big Second Half Lead Slip Away as Blue Hens Fall to James Madison 77-71 in CAA Battle
January 29, 2011
Photos Courtesy of Chris Mlynarczyk
NEWARK, Del. -- The University of Delaware let a 19-point second half lead slip away as James Madison, led by the inside play of Denzel Bowles, put together a furious rally and knocked off the Blue Hens 77-71 in a Colonial Athletic Association men's basketball battle Saturday afternoon at the Bob Carpenter Center.
The Blue Hens, who had won four of their last five games, appeared to be in control when they took a 50-31 lead with 13:35 left to play on a three-pointer by Jawan Carter, but James Madison (17-6, 7-4 CAA) rallied back behind Bowles and went ahead for good with 2:23 left to play. Bowles connected on 8 of 10 shots from the field and scored 18 of his game-high 26 points in the second stanza, most of them on turnaround jumpers from the left block under heavy pressure.
Delaware (11-10, 6-5 CAA), which had defeated the Dukes six of the last seven times at the BCC, placed four scorers in double figures as Carter (at right) bounced back from his first-ever scoreless game to deposit 20 points and dish out five assists while Josh Brinkley (at left) had 16 points and six rebounds, Devon Saddler added 13 points, and Jamelle Hagins contributed 12 points and a game-high nine rebounds. Carter, Delaware’s leading scorer at 15.1 points per game, recorded his eighth 20-point effort of the season.
Bowles, a 6-10 senior center who entered the game averaging 17.8 points per game, knocked down of 11 of 18 shots from the field for the game on the way to his 12th 20-point game of the season before fouling out with 1:21 left to lead the Dukes. He got solid support from Julius Wells with 19 points and from Devon Moore with 16 points. Wells connected on all nine of his free throws and also led the Dukes with six rebounds.
Delaware shot 50 percent from the field (25-50) but was hurt by 15 turnovers, including nine in the second half when James Madison's fullcourt press forced several UD miscues in the backcourt. The Dukes took advantage of almost every one, scoring 26 points off turnovers for the game, including 19 in the second half.
“We just didn’t execute the way we needed to against their press and that was the ballgame,” said Delaware head coach Monté Ross. “We allowed some run outs that got some of their guys involved and that led to their momentum. We got quality shots all night, we just turned the ball over too much in the second half.”
The Dukes, who entered the game tied with Delaware for fifth place in the CAA standings, scored 56 second half points as they shot a sizzing 72 percent from the field, hitting 18 of 25 shots, while draining 18 of 21 second half free throws and 24 of 27 for the game. James Madison turned the ball over just three times in the second half to get back into the game.
While the Blue Hens were hot from the field in the first half, hitting 14 of 27 field goals on the way to a 33-21 advantage at the break, James Madison was not as the Dukes connected on 7 of 25 shots. That all changed over the final 10 minutes of the game as the Dukes rallied back.
Delaware built on that 12-point halftime lead as the Hens outscored James Madison 17-10 over the first seven minutes of the second half to up the lead to 50-31 with 13:35 remaining. The Hens connected on three consecutive three-pointers over span of just over two minutes, including two by Carter and one by D.J. Boney, to assume their biggest lead in CAA action this season.
But the rest of the day belonged to the Dukes as they embarked on a 15-2 run, starting with a dunk by Bowles, that pulled them to within 52-46 with 9:14 left to play. Hagins ended the run with two free throws for Delaware, but JMU followed with another 15-7 streak and tied the score at 61-61 with 5:16 remaining.
Delaware owned a share of the lead for the next two minutes and led 67-65 with 3:18 left on a Brinkley jumper in the lane, but that would be the Hens’ last lead for the rest of the night. Wells drained two free throws to tie the score at 67-67 and Bowles followed with two layups down low over the next two minutes to give James Madison the lead for good at 71-67 with 1:48 left.
Delaware’s Hagins again ended the run with a pair of free throws with 1:21 left, but Wells followed with a layup to push the lead back to four. Delaware’s Saddler answered with a layup at the 43-second mark to cut the margin to 73-71, but the Hens could never get closer as a layup by Moore with 13 seconds left and two free throws from Andrey Semenov completed the comeback.
The Blue Hens will look to return to the win column Feb. 2 when they travel to Old Dominion to take on the Monarchs in Norfolk, Va. Delaware downed Old Dominion in its CAA opener by a 75-67 score back on Dec. 4.Back To Men's Basketball Home Men's Basketball Story Archive