NCAA ROUND 1: James Madison 68, LIU Brooklyn 55
A.J. Davis, who stepped in as a starter because James Madison’s leading scorer was suspended for a half, led the way with 20 points as the Dukes beat LIU Brooklyn on Wednesday night in Dayton.
The Dukes (21-14) advance to meet top-seeded Indiana (27-6) on Friday night at the same University of Dayton Arena.
James Madison was without suspended starter Rayshawn Goins for the first half but built a big lead. After the Blackbirds (20-14) battled back to take a brief lead, the Dukes surged again to win going away.
Charles Cooke added 15 points and Andre Nation 14 for the Dukes, who hadn’t won an NCAA Tournament game since 1983 and hadn’t played in the big dance in 19 years.
Jamal Olasewere had 20 points and 10 rebounds and C.J. Garner 16 points for the Blackbirds, who have lost in their first game in each of their six trips to the tournament.
JMU was without Goins, its leading scorer (12.7) and rebounder (7.4) after he was suspended for the first half following a weekend arrest. Police in Harrisonburg, Va., said they were called to break up a party early Sunday morning and Goins was shouting obscenities at them. He was not arrested on site, according to the police, for fear the crowd would “turn riotous.”
He was suspended for the opening half by coach Matt Brady on Monday.
After wasting a double-digit, first-half lead, the Dukes regrouped. E.J. Reed’s two foul shots with 15:02 left gave the Blackbirds their first lead of the game. But after falling behind, JMU found another gear.
Devon Moore, who had six assists, scored in transition right through the heart of the lane, Nation hit a follow and Davis took a long pass and popped in the shot off glass for a 45-40 advantage.
Nation then blocked a shot at the other end and tossed a long lead pass to Cooke, who dunked while being fouled. His three-point play made it a 9-0 run for a 48-40 lead with under 12 minutes left. The Blackbirds never threatened again.
La Salle 80, Boise State 71
Tyrone Garland led La Salle’s guard-driven offense with 22 points to lead La Salle over Boise State (21-11) in Dayton. The Explorers (22-9) play Kansas State on Friday. Ramon Galloway, one of the Atlantic 10’s top scorers, added 21 points in a fast-paced offense that did pretty much whatever it wanted. The Explorers shot 63 percent from the field — 16 of 22 in the second half.
Garland went 9-of-11 from the field — his best shooting game of the season — and the Explorers were 11-of-21 behind the arc.
NIT: Iowa 68, Indiana State 52
Devyn Marble scored 24 points, Aaron White added 11 with 13 rebounds and host Iowa cruised past Indiana State in an opening-round game.
Melshan Basabe had nine points and eight boards for the Hawkeyes (22-12), who will host Stony Brook in the second round Friday night.
Iowa shook off a sluggish start with a 19-4 run to open the second half. Justin Gant had 16 points to lead Indiana State (18-15), which was playing in the NIT for the first time since 1978.
Providence 75, Charlotte 66
Vincent Council, the only senior on the Providence roster, scored eight consecutive points to key a second-half charge that led the host Friars over Charlotte. Providence will host Robert Morris either Sunday or Monday.
The Friars (18-14) erased a seven-point second-half deficit but trailed by two when Council had his personal run. He then got help from fellow guards Bryce Cotton and Kris Dunn to subdue the 49ers (21-12).
Cotton finished with 25 points.
Stony Brook 71, Massachusetts 58
Anthony Jackson and Dave Coley scored 20 points each and Stony Brook beat host Massachusetts. The Seawolves (25-7) advance to play at Iowa on Friday night.
The second-seeded Minutemen (21-12) led 25-21 with 7:05 left in the first half, but they didn’t score again in the half. But Stony Brook scored the final 17 points heading into halftime and controlled the game the rest of the way.
Mercer 75, Tennessee 67
Travis Smith scored 25 points to match his career high as Mercer defeated host Tennessee (20-13). The Bears (24-11) will play at BYU in the second round.
Daniel Coursey scored 15 points and shot 7-of-7 for Mercer. Langston Hall had 16 points and Jakob Gallon added 12.
Southern Miss 78, Charleston Southern 71
Jonathan Mills scored 16 points, Neil Watson added 15 to lead host Southern Miss. Southern Miss (26-9) led for nearly the entire game, but struggled to put Charleston Southern (19-13) away until the final minute, when Rashard McGill hit an 18-foot jumper and two free throws for his only four points of the game.
Baylor 112, Long Beach St. 66
Brady Heslip scored 26 points while making eight 3-pointers and host Baylor hit a season-high 16 shots from long range.
Heslip had three early 3s, pushing the Bears (19-14) to a 16-6 lead in the first 4 minutes, when he had already made long-range shots from the left corner, left wing and top of the key.