Both Teams on Offensive Fire, Smith Leads CofC with 21 Pts.
By: CofC Sports Media
Charleston and James Madison went toe-to-toe in high-scoring, high-octane affair on Saturday afternoon in Harrisonburg. The Dukes squeaked out a 95-94 victory in the wild contest, staving off the Cougars’ comeback effort in the final minutes.
Both teams shot 48 percent or better from the field and combined for 20 made 3-pointers. CofC once again dominated the glass, owning a 45-27 rebounding edge on the back of a season-best 20 offensive rebounds. The Cougars capitalized, piling up 24 second-chance points.
James Madison countered by forcing 20 Charleston turnovers and scoring 21 points off those miscues. Eight different players across both squads reached double figures, led by the Dukes’ Vado Morse, who scored a game-high 32 points, including a pair of game-winning free throws to cement the win.
Charleston’s youth was up to the challenge on Saturday as freshman Reyne Smith led the Cougars with 21 points on 6-of-11 shooting from beyond the arc. Smith and his fellow group of five freshmen accounted for a season-best 45 of CofC’s 94 points. Senior Dimitrius Underwood posted a season-high 18 points and senior John Meeks added 17 points in the loss.
After a seesaw battle saw James Madison take a 3-point lead into halftime, the Cougars trailed by five at the 18:26 mark of the second half before mounting a big 13-2 run. It was the freshmen who keyed the spurt as Babacar Faye, Raekwon Horton and Ben Burnham scored nine unanswered points to surge CofC in front, 60-54.
Charleston led by as many as eight with 9:53 remaining before James Madison seized momentum and used a 16-2 run to build a 4-point lead. The Dukes hung on to a two-possession advantage until a personal 4-0 Dimitrius Underwood spurt after a steal and dunk clipped JMU’s lead to one. The Dukes made enough free throws in the final 20 seconds to win it, though, holding off CofC by a point.
The Cougars return home to face William & Mary on Tuesday, beginning a 3-game swing all at TD Arena. Tip-off on Tuesday is set for 7 p.m. ET on FloSports.
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