North Dakota State (4-1) vs. James Madison (1-2)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, November 21, 4:30 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: A.J. Palumbo Center (4,406) -- Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Television: None. Home Record: NDST 2-0, JMU 0-0. Away Record: NDST 1-1, JMU 0-2. Neutral Record: NDST 1-0, JMU 1-0. Conference Record: NDST 0-0, JMU 0-0. Series Record: First-ever meeting.
GAME NOTES: The James Madison Dukes look forward to possibly having an easier time of it on Wednesday afternoon, as they clash with North Dakota State in subregional action for the Legends Classic at the A.J. Palumbo Center.
James Madison, which is meeting the Bison for the first time ever on the hardwood, needed some late heroics on Tuesday in order to notch their first win of the 2012-13 season, taking down the Youngstown State Penguins by just a single point, 69-68. The Dukes had been working towards their first win as they went from losing to UCLA by 30 points in the season opener, to bowing in overtime to Duquesne by just two points on Monday.
As for the Bison, a group which is representing the Summit League, they took out a couple of easy targets in the early going this season, topping the likes of Valley City State and Mayville State, but this tournament has included some more formidable competition for sure. After defeating Youngstown State by three points in overtime on Monday, North Dakota State dominated host Duquesne on Tuesday in a 57-43 final for its third straight win and the fourth in five tries.
The Bison shot just 39.0 percent from the floor on Tuesday and converted a mere 5-of-11 at the free-throw line, yet that was still good enough to get the double-digit win against host Duquesne at the Palumbo Center in Pittsburgh. Leading the way on offense for NDST was TrayVonn Wright who not only scored a game-high 18 points, he also pulled down a game-high 10 rebounds as well. Marshall Bjorklund accounted for another 12 points and Taylor Braun 11 points to go along with six assists and three steals for the visitors. While he finished with just six points in 13 minutes off the bench yesterday, Mike Felt remains the top scoring threat for the Bison with his 15.8 ppg, stemming from his incredible 20-of-38 (.526) shooting behind the three-point line which is actually better than his overall accuracy from the floor at 49.0 percent. Braun and Bjorklund check in with 13.0 and 11.4 ppg, respectively, as well for a team outscoring the competition by 14 ppg.
JMU trailed by as many as 11 points late in the first half against Youngstown State on Tuesday, but the Dukes refused to go away quietly as they managed to overturn a four-point deficit in the final 30 seconds of regulation and pull out the one-point victory. James Madison made it happen thanks to a three- pointer by Alioune Diouf with 23 seconds left and a pair of Charles Cooke free throws with just 10 seconds remaining. In that second half the Dukes got a huge boost from the bench which outscored the YSU reserves 12-0. Overall it was Rayshawn Goins who led the way with a game-high 21 points, followed by Diouf with 15, Cooke 11 points and Andre Nation 10 points in a reserve role. The leading scorer and rebounder in all three games thus far, Goins is averaging nearly a double-double with his 21.7 ppg and 9.7 rpg. Unfortunately, as well as Goins has played, it is still tough to combat the fact that this team is giving up 86.0 ppg right now.
Unless the defense for the Dukes gets more involved moving forward, teams like the Bison will take advantage and that could lead to yet another win for North Dakota State on Wednesday.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: North Dakota State 74, James Madison 65
11/21 10:32:41 ET