JMU men’s basketball outlasted Delaware 68-61 on Saturday night. Redshirt senior guard Stuckey Mosley led the way for the Dukes with 25 points and five rebounds with sophomore forward Dwight Wilson and sophomore guard Matt Lewis also contributing, pouring in 14 and 10 points, respectively.
What originally looked like a possible JMU blowout ended up as a back-and-forth dogfight between both teams. The Dukes’ defense was spectacular for the first 10 minutes of the game, holding the Blue Hens to only eight points.
On the other end of the court, Mosley and freshman guard Deshon Parker shot with confidence, knocking down shots at a high clip. Wilson was strong in the paint with eight points to go along with seven rebounds in the first half.
“Coach called my number a few times in a row and allowed me to get going,” Mosley said. “I think they came out of the zone and that’s when they went man and coach called my plays a few times in a row and I was able to get going. I was trying to just win the game and get stops on defense and trust my teammates.”
The Blue Hens didn’t go away quietly, closing the gap deep into the first half, heading into the break down one. Delaware benefited from opportunities at the free-throw line as the Dukes racked up 10 team fouls 11 minutes into the game. The Blue Hens finished the half shooting 10 for 16 from the charity stripe while the Dukes split their two lone attempts.
“We do have to balance our aggressiveness with our discipline on defense,” head coach Louis Rowe said. “We’re trying to build momentum, it's another home game and it was a really good crowd, especially for a later start … but they were juiced a little bit, there were pump fakes, guys were flying in the air, so we got to balance that aggression with our discipline.”
In the second, things were similar to the first: aggressive defense, good shooting and missed opportunities. Neither team had high turnover numbers — 14 and 11 turnovers, respectively — but the manner they occurred is what was detrimental to each squad’s success.
Many of the turnovers came in transition off bad passes or spacing mistakes, which held both teams back offensively and caused them to miss out on fast break scoring opportunities. Missed free throws were also present throughout the game for Delaware, with the Blue Hens hitting 16-of-24 while the Dukes faring better, knocking down 11-of-15.
The Dukes and Blue Hens traded baskets for the majority of the night. Redshirt senior guard Darian Bryant lead the way for Delaware with 15 points while Mosley and Lewis led the second half charge for the Dukes, notching a combined 22 points and six rebounds in the second 20 minutes of action.
“It was really game flow, they went back to the zone,” Lewis said. “A lot of times early on this year we would see the zone and be timid and be on our heels, but today we just attacked and got downhill and we were finding seems and getting to the rim.”
The Dukes moved to 12-15 (5-9 CAA) and have a chance to stretch their win streak to three Thursday at 7 p.m. when they travel to take on Northeastern 16-10 (10-4 CAA).
Contact Grayson Heflin at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more basketball coverage, follow the sports desk on Twitter @TheBreezeSports.