Dukes Win Again
Moore Leads JMU Past UNCW, 63-56
Posted: January 29, 2013
WILMINGTON, N.C. — Devon Moore played with a veteran’s poise Monday night. He controlled the floor on both ends in the second half to lead James Madison to a 63-56 victory over North Carolina-Wilmington in Trask Coliseum.
The Seahawks could not contain the Dukes’ fifth-year point guard, who scored 15 of his team-high 19 points after halftime and also made scoring chances scarce for UNCW’s best perimeter threat, Chris Dixon.
“Devon Moore was the difference. He just made big plays down the stretch,” UNCW coach Buzz Peterson said.
Moore made 8 of 11 shots, and he added seven rebounds and three assists with only one turnover. He helped hold Dixon to 16 points on 6-of-10 shooting.
“He was tremendous, “James Madison coach Matt Brady said of Moore. “Chris [Dixon] has had a terrific month of January, and [Moore] takes those challenges very personally. He played tremendous defense.”
After Dixon made a 3-pointer with 48 seconds remaining to trim the JMU lead to 57-54, the Dukes hit their final six free throws to extend their winning streak to three games.
Madison (12-10 overall, 6-3 in the Colonial Athletic Association) also improved to 2-7 in road games, with their last road win coming Jan. 2 at Old Dominion. The Seahawks broke the opposite trend, dropping to 7-2 at home.
UNCW looked sharp early. Dixon swished a 3-pointer in the left corner off a pass from a driving Freddie Jackson to stretch the Seahawks’ lead to 40-34 with 13:27 remaining before JMU answered with a 12-2 run over the next 6:18 to take control.
Dixon didn’t attempt another field goal until a layup at the 1:13 mark that trimmed the Dukes’ lead to four.
Using his length and three-inch height advantage, Moore denied Dixon the ball. Whenever Dixon got it, a JMU forward applied a double team and made him give it up.
“We had to stick with our game plan,” Moore said. “We knew we had to pressure the ball and keep it out of [Dixon’s] hands, because he’s a great player … because when you’ve got a quick guard that can score like that, it’s hard to check him with one person.”
Dixon felt he should’ve been more assertive in keeping the ball and running his team. Peterson said fatigue was a factor, since Dixon played 115 of 120 minutes in the last six days. Either way, the Seahawks floundered against the defensive strategy, in part because their supporting cast was frigid. The other UNCW guards shot 2-of-16.
Keith Rendleman led UNCW with 20 points and 13 rebounds, his 11th double-double this season.
“We could never get things going in transition,” Peterson said after his team shot 39.6 percent and hit 4 of 16 3-pointers.
“Halfcourt-wise they’re just so much more physical than we are, and the only thing we could get was Keith [Rendleman] inside a little bit or a kick out 3, and those didn’t happen too much.”
Moore was perfect on all six field goals in the second half, including a banked-in 28-footer with one second on the shot clock to push the Dukes’ edge to 53-46 with 3:27 remaining. Dixon went underneath a screen at the top of the key on the play, giving Moore all the room he needed to drain the back-breaking shot.
The Dukes wanted the ball in their senior point guard’s hands as much as possible, Brady said.
“He got in the lane, made a couple of jump shots. He puts a lot of pressure on the defense to decide how you want to guard him,” he said. “We really did ride Devon here in the second half.”
Rendleman vaulted into seventh on the career scoring list and inched closer to becoming the career rebounding leader – he needs 66 in the final 10 games. Frontcourt mate Cedrick Williams snapped out of a two-game slump with 10 points and six rebounds, but the rest of the Seahawks were non-factors.
“Everybody has to stay aggressive for us to be good,” Dixon said. “No matter, they don’t need to sit around and watch me and Keith.”
JMU opens a three-game homestand Thursday night with a visit from Hofstra.
“We’re obviously thrilled to get a road win; it’s a big deal,” Brady said. “In college basketball, to get a road conference win is very hard to do.”