James Madison (6-9) at College of Charleston (8-7)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Tuesday, January 7, 7 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: TD Arena (5,100) -- Charleston, South Carolina. Television: CSS. Home Record: James Madison 1-1, Charleston 4-4. Away Record: James Madison 3-6, Charleston 3-1. Neutral Record: James Madison 2-2, Charleston 1-2. Conference Record: James Madison 1-0, Charleston 0-0. Series Record: Charleston 1-0.
GAME NOTES: Both the James Madison Dukes and College of Charleston Cougars look to extend three-game win streaks as they meet up at TD Arena in a Colonial Athletic Association bout.
James Madison is trying to recover from a six-game losing skid suffered earlier this season, and is currently on a three-game win streak as the Dukes play their second CAA contest in Charleston on Tuesday. James Madison has only played at home twice this season. JMU is coming off a 60-55 victory over UNC Wilmington Saturday.
Charleston is also on a three-game win streak as it enters CAA play against the Dukes. The Cougars defeated Howard 60-50 on Saturday to improve to 8-7 on the season.
These teams have only met once in their history, with Charleston holding a 1-0 advantage. This is the first meeting between the two sides this season, as they will square off again on Jan. 25 at JMU.
James Madison grabbed an early lead in the first half on hot shooting performances, then managed to sustain a quieter second half as UNC Wilmington attempted a comeback. The Dukes held on for the victory in the CAA's first game of the season. Charles Cooke led the way for the Dukes with 24 points and nine rebounds. Cooke shot a cool 9-of-12 from the floor in the contest, but was only 5-of-9 from the free-throw line. Andrey Semenov was the only other JMU player in double figures scoring, adding 13 points and four rebounds to the cause. As a team, the Dukes were a dismal 21.4 percent from beyond the 3- point arc in the game, including 0-of-4 in the second half. They hit just 3- of-14 in the win.
Cooke paces the team this season in scoring with a 15.7 ppg average on 42.3 percent shooting from the floor. Cooke doesn't necessarily help the Dukes' 3- point shooting woes with a 29.4 percentage from behind the arc. The guard averages 4.7 rpg and is second on the team in assists with 32 and first in steals with 23. Ron Curry (11.9 ppg) and Semenov (11.6 ppg) are the Dukes' second- and third-leading scorers this season. Taylor Bessick paces the squad with a 5.7 rpg average. As a team, the Dukes shoot 27.4 percent from 3-point range and average 62.8 ppg.
Charleston took a 6-4 lead five minutes into the game against Howard Saturday and never surrendered that lead for the remainder of the contest. Willis Hall had a monstrous double-double for the Cougars, netting 18 points and pulling down 17 rebounds, and was a perfect 5-of-5 from the charity stripe. Adjehi Baru scored 12 points and Joe Chealey added 11 for the Cougars, who completed their non-conference schedule with three straight wins. Baru secured 10 rebounds for the second Charleston double-double on the night. Charleston's bench outscored Howard's, 22-7.
Hall and Baru set the pace for the Cougars this season in scoring, with Hall averaging 11.9 ppg and Baru at 10.1 ppg. For players like Anthony Stitt and Chealey, who lead the team with 45 and 32 assists this season, respectively, it bodes well to have weapons like Hall and Baru. Stitt and Chealey are adept at scoring themselves, averaging 9.5 and 9.4 ppg, respectively. Hall (9.7 rpg) and Baru (7.6 rpg) are the team's leading rebounders.
With each team experiencing a wave of success at the moment, the edge should go to Charleston at home. James Madison's low shooting percentage and scoring totals will catch up with it.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: College of Charleston 67, James Madison 61
01/07 10:32:18 ET