William & Mary (9-12) at James Madison (13-11)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, February 6, 7 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Convocation Center (7,156) -- Harrisonburg, Virginia. Television: None. Home Record: W&M 6-3, JMU 8-3. Away Record: W&M 3-9, JMU 2-7. Neutral Record: W&M 0-0, JMU 3-1. Conference Record: W&M 3-7, JMU 7-4. Series Record: James Madison leads, 45-37.
GAME NOTES: After starting out the 2012-13 season with just one win in six tries, the James Madison Dukes appear to have turned the corner as they shoot for their fifth win in six opportunities on Wednesday night versus William & Mary in Colonial Athletic Association action at the Convocation Center.
Since losing those five games early on in the campaign, JMU has dropped just six more, the most recent of those coming on Saturday afternoon versus George Mason in a 74-63 final at home. The defeat snapped a four-game win streak by the program, but still the Dukes remain in the top half of the CAA standings.
As for the Tribe, their conference road has been filled with several bumps and now they are just 3-7 in such decisions. The team did land back in the win column over the weekend with a 72-59 triumph over Hofstra, the second win in the last three outings for the program, but those are the only two victories for the squad since Christmas.
James Madison leads the all-time series between the teams by a 45-37 margin after winning the most recent meeting last season, 57-49. The teams are slated to close out the regular season against each other just over three weeks from now in Williamsburg.
The Tribe kicked their offense into gear in the first half against Hofstra over the weekend, shooting 62.5 percent from the floor in the frame, establishing a double-digit lead at the break and keeping up the pressure until posting the 13-point victory at home. Tim Rusthoven registered a double- double for the hosts with 17 points and 16 rebounds, adding three assists and three blocked shots to fill up his stat line. Brandon Britt also scored 17 points, Marcus Thornton 16 and Kyle Gaillard 13 points for the victors. Thornton and Rusthoven, the only two players to have started every game this season for the Tribe, lead the way in scoring with 18.0 and 15.0 ppg, respectively, the former posting a team-best 61 assists and the latter capturing close to eight rebounds per game to pace the group in that category. Britt (13.3 ppg) certainly has scoring potential as well, just as long as he doesn't insist on trying to make it happen from 3-point range where he is just 25.4 percent accurate.
Devon Moore scored a career-high 25 points, adding five assists and four rebounds for the Dukes, but the team dug itself an early hole with just 36.0 percent shooting from the floor and never recovered. Rayshawn Goins came up a rebound short of a double-double as he contributed another 13 points to the attack for JMU, but the remaining starters combined to shoot only 2-of-11 from the floor. Moore (10.7 ppg) has led the team in scoring in two of the last three outings, but it is Goins who tops the list for the season overall with his 13.8 ppg, adding 7.9 rpg to pace the group in that department as well. The loss of Andrey Semenov to an ankle injury last month means the team is having to make up for his 10.0 ppg as he was the only other double-digit scorer on the roster. The group is posting a mere 64.4 ppg at the moment, yet that's still better than the 64.0 ppg being allowed by JMU.
The Tribe have a couple of talented players on the roster, but in the last six weeks it hasn't been easy to get everyone on the same page and that will probably be the story again Wednesday night at JMU.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: James Madison 71, William & Mary 60
02/06 10:38:12 ET