Finney's Lay-Up Pushes Old Dominion Past James Madison, 74-72

January 06, 2010
By ODU Athletics
ODU Sports

Jan. 6, 2010

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NORFOLK, Va. - Junior Ben Finney converted a fast-break lay-up with 13 seconds remaining and the Old Dominion defense held the lead as the Monarchs knocked off James Madison, 74-72, in front of 7,078 fans Wednesday evening at the Ted Constant Convocation Center.

Trailing 72-70 with less than a minute to play, sophomore Kent Bazemore hit junior Frank Hassell cutting to the basket for a jam that tied the game with 46 seconds remaining.

On JMU's ensuing possession Virginia Beach native Denzel Bowles had his first shot blocked by Hassell and then missed a lay-up in which Hassell came down with the rebounded.

Hassell then found Bazemore with an outlet pass and rather than calling a timeout, ODU pushed the basketball. Bazemore hit Finney, who made a tough lay-up to put the Monarchs ahead with 13 seconds remaining.

After a Dukes timeout, Julius Wells, who hit seven three's in the game, fired his 12th attempt of the contest, but it didn't fall and Finney grabbed the board as time expired.

The Monarchs improve to 11-5 on the year and 3-1 in the Colonial Athletic Association, while the Dukes drop to 7-7 overall and 1-3 in league play.

Bazemore tallied a career-high 19 points on 9-of-11 shooting. It's the second consecutive game the sophomore has set a new career-high in scoring. Senior Gerald Lee and Hassell each posted 14 points, while junior Keyon Carter scored 13 and pulled down a game-high eight rebounds.

The Monarchs raced out to a 6-0 lead in the opening minutes, getting a pair of buckets from Bazemore and a jumper from Hassell.

Bazemore and Carter started a combined 8-of-8 from the floor and ODU led by as many as eight (20-12).

The Dukes responded though, going on a 10-2 run to tie the game at the 5:54 mark. After the Monarchs stopped the run on a three-point play from Lee, Wells drilled a three-pointer to knot the score at 25. Wells had a game-high 29 points, including 16 in the opening half.

James Madison would take its first lead of the game as Bowles made consecutive shots to put the Dukes up 29-25 with under three minutes remaining in the half. ODU would go into the intermission trailing by only one (31-30) though as Carter banked in a triple as time expired.

The Monarchs started the second half as hot as they did the first, coming out of the locker room on a 7-0 run. The spurt was sparked by two Hassell free throws and a pair of fast-break buckets from junior guard Darius James.

James Madison once again stopped the ODU run with Wells and Bowles. A three-point field goal by Wells from the left corner and a pair of free-throws from Bowles cut the Monarch lead down to one, 37-36.

The Dukes would hold their biggest edge of the night, 67-63, with just over four minutes left in the contest, but a pair of free throws from Lee and a Hassell dunk would tie the game at 67 and set up the dramatic final two minutes.

The Monarchs will remain at home on Saturday, Jan. 9, completing their fourth game in eight days against CAA rival Hofstra. The game will tip-off at 4 p.m. at the Ted Constant Convocation Center and will be televised on Comcast Mid-Atlantic (Ch 35 - Hampton Roads), Comcast New England, Comcast Philadelphia and the Madison Square Garden Network.