College of Charleston (11-9) at James Madison (6-13)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, January 25, 2 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Convocation Center (7,612) -- Harrisonburg, Virginia. Television: CSN-MA, PHI, NE, CSS, SNY. Home Record: CofC 6-4, JMU 1-3. Away Record: CofC 2-6, JMU 3-8. Neutral Record: CofC 0-0, JMU 2-2. Conference Record: CofC 3-2, JMU 1-4. Series Record: College of Charleston leads, 2-0
GAME NOTES: The James Madison Dukes have a tough task ahead of them, as they try to end a four-game slide on Saturday afternoon against the visiting Cougars from the College of Charleston in Colonial Athletic Association rematch at the Convocation Center.
Just a few weeks ago, these two teams met in Charleston, with the Cougars rolling to a 75-61 triumph on their home floor. CofC was also victorious in the only other matchup between the programs.
Charleston has won six of its last eight games, including a 75-70 triumph over UNC-Wilmington on Wednesday. The Cougars are now 11-9 overall and 3-2 in conference play, although they have just two wins in eight road conflicts. They will remain in Virginia to take on William & Mary next.
Coincidentally, James Madison's last opponent was William & Mary, which handed the Dukes a 78-56 loss last Saturday. The Dukes have now dropped four straight and are 6-13 overall, and just 1-4 against the rest of the CAA. They will hit the road to tangle with Northeastern next.
Nori Johnson scored 23 points to lead the way for Charleston in its recent victory over UNCW. The Cougars shot 47.9 percent from the floor, including a 10-of-19 showing from beyond the arc, while scoring 24 points off turnovers.
The Cougars are usually not a team that scores at such an efficient rate (64.1 ppg, .414 FG percentage). However, they make up for it by applying pressure on defense, limiting foes to 62.9 ppg and 41 percent shooting. Willis Hall (11.7 ppg, 9.5 rpg) finished with 12 points and seven rebounds against the Seahawks to remain third in the CAA on the glass. Anthony Stitt (10.3 ppg) is the only other player on the roster averaging in double figures, although Adjehi Baru (9.9 ppg, 7.3 rpg) and Nori Johnson (7.8 ppg) are reliable options when called upon.
Andre Nation poured in a game-high 25 points, but his teammates did not put up enough of a fight in their recent loss to William & Mary. As a team, the Dukes shot just 41.7 percent from the floor, including a paltry 5-of-23 performance from 3-point range.
The Dukes have struggled all season when it comes to scoring, as they rank ninth in the CAA in that category (62.4 ppg), while shooting at just a 41.8 percent clip. Leading scorer Charles Cooke (15.1 ppg) is likely to miss Saturday's contest, as he is listed as doubtful with a sprained right ankle suffered during the matchup with W&M. Ron Curry (11.6 ppg) and Andrey Semenov (11,.1 ppg) must pick up the slack, as well as Nation (17.5 ppg), who has played very well in his four appearances this season. On defense, the Dukes do well enough, limiting foes to 68.5 ppg and 42.4 percent shooting.
Neither of these teams scores all that much, so this contest will likely come down to which unit is able to create easier shots for itself. Without Cooke the Dukes don't have enough firepower to be that team.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: College of Charleston 67, James Madison 60
01/25 10:14:49 ET