James Madison (6-6) at Old Dominion (2-11)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, January 2, 7 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Constant Convocation Center (9,520) -- Norfolk, Virginia. Television: None. Home Record: JMU 3-2, ODU 1-7. Away Record: JMU 0-3, ODU 1-4. Neutral Record: JMU 3-1, ODU 0-0. Conference Record: JMU 0-0, ODU 0-1. Series Record: Old Dominion leads, 55-24.
GAMES NOTES: The Old Dominion Monarchs will continue to search for answers when they host in-state foe James Madison in a Colonial Athletic Association matchup at the Constant Convocation Center.
James Madison has won three straight and five of its last six games to improve its record to 6-6 overall this season. The Dukes' only loss during the current streak was an 83-82 heartbreaker in overtime to Richmond. This is the conference opener for the Dukes who went 5-13 in league play a year ago. James Madison's next opponent will be Georgia State in the second game of a three-contest road trip.
Normally one of the better teams in the CAA, Old Dominion has really struggled this season with just a 2-11 mark coming into this game. That record includes an 71-62 loss to William & Mary in the Monarch's conference opener at the beginning of December. The Monarchs fell 55-54 to Fairfield last time out after breaking a nine-game losing streak in the previous game. Old Dominion faces Delaware at home next.
The all-time series between these programs has largely been dominated by Old Dominion which has a 55-24 record all-time against James Madison. The Monarchs have swept the season series in four straight years.
James Madison hooked up with San Diego in the Vegas Holiday Hoops Classic in last time out and came away with a 62-59 victory. A pair of free throws from Rayshawn Goins broke a 58-58 tie with just under two minutes remaining and the Dukes were able to hold on from there.
Coming into this game James Madison has been the second-best scoring team in the conference (69.1 ppg), while connecting on 44.8 percent of its shots from the floor. Despite that the Dukes still suffer from a negative scoring margin (-1.1). The Dukes are also being outrebounded overall this year by collecting just 30.8 boards per game, the worst mark in the conference. Goins (14.3 ppg, 7.2 rpg) has been scoring and rebounding well as the top option for the Dukes. He hasn't gotten much help on the boards though as no other player brings in more than 4.3 rebounds a game. Devon Moore (11.2 ppg, 4.6 apg) provides a backcourt counterpoint for Goins and is leading the CAA in assists.
In its loss to Fairfield the Monarchs missed on eight of their final nine field goal attempts and let a 10-point lead in the second half slip away. The Monarchs were outscored off points off turnovers (17-7) and in the paint (36-26) in the loss.
Scoring has not come easy for Old Dominion, as the Monarchs are among the bottom tier of teams in the conference in points per game (63.3) and field goal percentage (.410). On the other end the Monarchs are letting up 69.9 points per game on 46.7 percent shooting. The Monarchs have managed to put in strong efforts on the boards (38.0 pg) where they have a +6.7 edge overall. DeShawn Painter (11.3 ppg, 7.9 rpg) has been the only consistent offensive option and the team's top rebounder. Donte Hill (9.9 ppg, 4.4 rpg) has been erratic with his scoring and is shooting at just a 38.9 percent clip from the floor.
Although it might be a long season for Old Dominion, the Monarchs are not going to continue to play at a low level. Expect a spirited effort in this game.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Old Dominion 69, James Madison 65
01/02 10:36:14 ET