JMU stuns Blue Hens with game-winning dunk

By Sean Greene 11:32pm, February 17, 2013
VIDEO: Highlights and reaction from JMU's winning inbounds play
James Madison's Andre Nation slammed home an inbound alley-oop with less than a second remaining to give the Dukes a stunning 72-71 win over Delaware Sunday night.

Delaware took 11-point leads in both halves of a game they trailed by three at the break, but could not get the defensive stand they needed when Devon Moore lobbed the inbound pass about 2 feet in front of the rim, only to have Nation collect it and slam it home with .6 seconds remaining.

The Blue Hens had one last chance but their in-bounds pass by Jamelle Hagins was thrown over the head of everyone out of bounds to seal the win for the Dukes.

After the game Devon Saddler said Nation became open when the Dukes ran a screen near the top of the key, and both players appeared to cheat towards a cutter going out towards the left wing, leaving Nation open, and somehow in front of Jamelle Hagins for the finish.

In front of a season-high 3,284 fans and a regional television audience, Delaware rocketed to a 13-2 advantage where all five starters had at least a point. JMU wouldn't let that advantage last long, eventually tying the game at 22 in the middle of an 18-5 run which put them up 6. Delaware ultimately cut the deficit to 38-36 at intermission.

Saddler hit a three-pointer for the first points of the second half, giving Delaware a lead that eventually swelled to 54-43 with 13:54 remaining after Kyle Anderson hit three free-throws after being fouled. This time JMU went on a a 17-6 run to tie the game at 60, but didn't take the lead again until the 4:39 mark when Moore's free throw put them up 67-66.

Ron Curry's three-pointer put the Dukes up 4, but then a basket and foul by Devon Saddler and a driving layup by the captain put Delaware up 71-70, setting up the unfortunate dramatics for the hosts.

Saddler's 23 points led the Blue Hens, who dropped to third place amongst CAA Tournament-eligible teams, and two games behind Northeastern in the loss column, with only the top seed earning a bye to the semifinals of next month's CAA Tournament in Richmond.

Moore and Goins both scored 19 for JMU (16-12, 10-5 CAA), who now are a half game ahead of Delaware in 2nd place.

Delaware hosts Drexel on Thursday night.

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