For the ninth time this season, sophomore guard Marcus Thornton eclipsed the 20-point mark, leading the Tribe with 22 points on 8-of-13 shooting to go along with a 5-of-8 effort from 3-point range. Junior forward Tim Rusthoven just missed his fifth double-double in the last seven games with 11 points on 4-of-6 shooting and nine rebounds with three assists. Senior guard Matt Rum was 3-of-5 from 3-point range, finishing with nine points and a team-high five assists. The Baltimore, Md., native became the 10th player in W&M history with 200 career assists and 100 made 3-pointers in a career, surpassing both milestones on Wednesday night.
W&M scored the first five points of the game, but the Dukes led 6-5 after back-to-back buckets from Devon Moore. Thornton and junior guard Brandon Britt canned back-to-back 3-pointers to put the Green and Gold back on top, 11-6, just over five minutes into the contest.
The Dukes answered with a 12-1 run as six different JMU players scored during the stretch. A Ron Curry jumper just past the midway point of the opening 20 minutes gave the Dukes an 18-12 advantage, prompting a W&M timeout.
James Madison led 20-15 after a pair of Andre Nation free throws at the 8:28 mark, before W&M regained the lead with a 13-4 spurt. Thornton scored eight points during the run for the Green and Gold as his first 3-pointer of the sequence pulled W&M within two, before Rusthoven tied the contest at 20 with a jumper in the lane.
Back-to-back 3-pointers from Thornton and junior Kyle Gaillard answered buckets from JMU, putting the Tribe on top, 26-24. Thornton capped the run with a jumper inside the arc, giving the Green and Gold a four-point cushion with five minutes remaining in the half. The Dukes pulled even at the intermission as an A.J. Davis follow-up dunk tied the contest at 30 in the final minute.
JMU scored the opening eight points of the second half to seizing control of the contest. A Rum 3-pointer and Thornton jumper drew W&M back within three, 38-35, but JMU responded with a 12-3 run to extend the margin to double-digits. After Thornton answered a Davis 3-pointer to keep the margin at three, Curry and Davis canned back-to-back 3-pointers for the Dukes to push the advantage to nine. After another Thornton 3-pointer closed the gap to six, 47-41, JMU scored six straight points to extend the lead to 12. Davis hit his fourth 3-pointer of the opening seven minutes of the second half, before Moore converted a conventional 3-point play at the 12:09 mark to give the Dukes a 53-41 lead.
W&M could never get closer than 10 the rest of the way as JMU answered each Tribe charge. James Madison shot 59.3 percent (16-of-27) from the floor in the second half, including 64.3 percent (9-of-14) from 3-point range. Davis led the Dukes' onslaught, scoring 23 of his game-high 27 points in the second half. He was 7-of-9 from 3-point range in the second 20 minutes.
The Tribe finished the game shooting 53.2 percent (25-of-47) from the floor, including a 60 percent clip (15-of-25) in the second half. W&M was 14-of-27 from 3-point range (51.9 percent) and dished out 18 assists on its 25 made field goals. JMU finished the contest at 50.9 percent (29-of-57) from the floor and was 9-of-20 from long range. The Dukes also held a 32-27 advantage on the glass and finished with 10 steals.
Moore turned in a double-double performance for JMU with 17 points and a career-high 12 assists, while Nation added 10 points. Gaillard and Britt each added 10 points and three assists for the Green and Gold.
W&M returns home for a pair of contests to kick off next week in Kaplan Arena. The Green and Gold welcome CAA-leading Northeastern to Williamsburg for a 7 p.m. tip on Monday, Feb. 11, before hosting UNCW on Wednesday, Feb. 13, at 7 p.m. Both contests will be available over the Tribe Radio Network with Jay Colley, Bill McDonald and Charlie Woollum on the call. The Tide 92.3 FM in Williamsburg is flagship station of the Tribe Radio Network and the broadcast will be available online at TribeAthletics.com. The games can be seen on Tribe Athletics TV at the home for W&M Sports.