Dukes Escape Radford With a Win
JMU took the short trip down 81 South to play the Radford Highlanders last night. Thus far in this young season, the Dukes have had a little of a Jekyll and Hyde thing. Some nights they’ve been very good, but other nights they’ve been pretty bad. Last night, they weren’t consistent, but they managed to avoid being bad. It was more like they were really good in the first half, and then just good enough in the second frame. Thanks to some clutch free throw shooting, JMU managed to escape with a 70-68 win.
Thanks to some hot shooting by Shakir Brown and a few big threes from Jackson Kent, JMU got out to a 19 point lead early in the second half. Then Radford stormed back to tie the game at 63-63. It looked as if the Dukes were going to collapse and give one away. But they didn’t. They hit enough free throws down the stretch and Radford missed a wide open three at the buzzer. Game. Set. Match.
The win moved JMU to 5-3 on the season and a perfect 3-0 on the road. Shakir Brown led the way with 20 points and 7 boards. He was 5 of 8 from long range. Radford defeated Georgetown earlier this season and is actually a decent team. The fact that JMU managed to hold off the Highlander’s comeback and pick up another win on the road is encouraging. The CAA is definitely trending upward and the league’s teams have proven capable of defeating teams from traditionally stronger conferences. CofC upsetting Ben Simmons and LSU just the latest example. It’s going to be a battle night in and night out once league play kicks off. Winning tough ones on the road will only help prepare the Dukes.