UNCW men's basketball beats James Madison 78-73, shares first-place spot

UNCW men's basketball beats James Madison 78-73, shares first-place spot

UNCW Press Release

HARRISONBURG, Virginia –  Junior guard Chris Flemmings scored 23 points, including four critical free throws in the final 21 seconds, and grabbed 13 rebounds to power UNCW over James Madison, 78-73, in a matchup of two of the Colonial Athletic Association's top three men's basketball teams Thursday at the JMU Convocation Center.

The Seahawks won their sixth consecutive game - their longest streak of the season - and climbed to 15-5 overall and 7-2 in the CAA. UNCW maintained a share of  first place in the CAA with Hofstra, which held on against Elon on Thursday night in Hempstead, N.Y.

The Dukes slipped to 16-6 overall and 6-3 in the CAA after having their five-game winning streak halted by the Seahawks. UNCW and JMU meet again on Saturday, Feb. 13, at Trask Coliseum.

"It was a great conference game," said Kevin Keatts, UNCW's second-year coach. "JMU is a very good team. They have an elite player in Ron Curry and made us play all the way to the end.

"We got conservative at the end. I wanted us to continue to play, but we started to look at the clock. Once we realized what we needed to do, we finished the game."

The talented Flemmings went 7-of-15 from the field and 7-of-9 at the free throw line to lead three Seahawks in double figures. Junior guard Denzel Ingram added 14 points and sophomore guard Jordon Talley contributed 11 points, six rebounds and eight assists.

Senior guard Ron Curry of JMU paced all scorers with 28 points and 13-of-16 at the charity stripe.

The Seahawks scored the first eight points of the game and led wire-to-wire to give Keatts his third win in three tries against the Dukes. It marks the longest winning streak since the Seahawks strung together eight consecutive victories from Feb. 10, 2006, to Mar. 6, 2006.

After leading 8-0 after three minutes, the Seahawks settled into a workable margin and got the advantage back to 32-26 with 1:41 left in the period on a pair of free throws by Flemmings, who finished the opening period with 10 points.

JMU went ice cold over the last five minutes of the first stanza, missing 12 of 14 shots as the Seahawks took a 33-28 lead into the break.

The Seahawks return to the floor on Saturday when the College of Charleston visits for a 7 p.m. tip-off in the annual Homecoming Game on campus. The Dukes travel to Williamsburg, Va., on Sunday for a 7 p.m. clash with William & Mary.

GAME NOTES: The Seahawks stand 36-33 lifetime against the Dukes…UNCW is now 12-18 at the JMU Convocation Center…UNCW has nine games left in the regular season, including five at Trask Coliseum…Freshman guard C.J. Bryce, the reigning CAA Rookie-of-the-Week, pulled down 11 rebounds…The Seahawks scored 34 points in the paint…UNCW led by as many as 13 points in the contest…Reserve center Chuck Ogbodo contributed nine points and five rebounds for the Seahawks, who built a 50-35 advantage on the glass.