JMU men’s basketball lost a hard-fought game against William & Mary, 70-66 Saturday. In their final regular season game of the season, the Dukes had stretches where the offense was stagnant, shooting 36 percent from the field.
However, JMU sophomore forward Dwight Wilson’s possessive was a bright spot against the Tribe. Wilson ended up with a double-double, recording 16 points and 15 rebounds, but his performance wasn’t enough for the Dukes to claim the win. While Wilson played a strong contest, not getting the win outweighed his accomplishments on the stat sheet.
“To be great in this league, you’ve got to convert on plays,” Wilson said. “I had mental lapses on defense, didn’t convert on my free throws, Knight got a couple buckets on me. To win that game, I have to make those plays, and I didn’t make them. So, 16 and 15 is all good, but if it doesn’t result in a W, it doesn’t mean nothing to me.”
Sophomore guard Matt Lewis also chipped in 15 points for the Dukes, and on senior day, redshirt senior Stuckey Mosley left an impact, too. Mosley ended with 12 points, nine rebounds and two steals for JMU.
“It’s great whenever you get to play in the Convo,” Mosley said on his time playing at the Convocation Center. “I love the fans and putting on a show for them.”
Head coach Louis Rowe talked about the offensive execution and what the team needs to focus on heading into the conference tournament if the Dukes want to be successful. JMU has a week to prepare before heading to Charleston, South Carolina, for the CAA Tournament.
“We’re having trouble finishing right now, so I got to try to figure that out,” Rowe said. “Hopefully we can get some rest and get our legs back under us this week.”
Closing out their time playing at the Convo, Mosley’s and senior forward Develle Phillips’ impact on the JMU program has been significant.
“I don’t think that’s the way they wanted to go out,” Rowe said. “You go into this and pick some players you want to coach and you want to try and mentor them. So, both of those guys have been in my program two and three years and I would love for maybe the results to be different, but I’m thankful for those guys and I hope I had some type of impact on their lives.”
William & Mary were paced by junior forward Nathan Knight. Knight scored 29 points on 11-of-17 shooting. Redshirt junior guard Matt Milon also ended up with 18 points with 5-of-7 from three-point range. William & Mary head coach Tony Shaver talks about how his players handled the atmosphere of the Convo.
“It’s probably as many people I’ve seen here,” Shaver said. “It’s probably the most involved crowd I’ve seen in my years coming here … It was a great environment today, two teams played really hard.”
The Dukes finished the regular season 13-18 (6-12 CAA) as they travel to Charleston for the CAA Tournament next week. JMU will play the Towson Tigers at 4 p.m. Saturday.
Contact Brandon Ellis firstname.lastname@example.org For more basketball coverage, follow the sports desk on Twitter @TheBreezeSports.