W&M advances to the league semifinals for the fourth time in the 25-year history of the CAA. The Green and Gold will meet No. 2 seed Northeastern in the second semifinal at 5:30 p.m. The Huskies won 74-71 in double overtime over No. 7 seed Hofstra on Saturday evening. The two teams met once during the regular season with the Tribe claiming a 53-52 win over the Huskies in Williamsburg on an offensive putback from sophomore guard Kendrix Brown with 3.8 seconds remaining. The first semifinal at 3 p.m. will feature No. 1 seed Old Dominion against No. 5 seed VCU.
Schneider led all scorers with 23 points, including 6-of-9 from 3-point range, while adding a team-high seven rebounds. Sumner continued his impressive play in the Richmond Coliseum, hitting for a season-high 22 points on 9-of-18 shooting to go along with a career-high tying four 3-pointers. Over the last three years, Sumner, including his game against JMU, is averaging 17.2 points per game in six games at the Richmond Coliseum. Schneider and Sumner matched JMU's scoring out put in the second half, scoring 32 of the Tribe's 46 points.
Senior forward Steven Hess, who celebrated his Birthday on Saturday, scored eight points off the bench, while sophomore forward Quinn McDowell added nine points. Freshman guard Matt Rum topped the team with a career-best five assists compared to zero turnovers.
After a dunk from JMU's Denzel Bowles gave the Dukes a 44-30 lead with 15:37 remaining in the game, the Tribe scored 10 straight points to pull within four points. Sumner and Schneider hit back-to-back 3-pointers, before a Sumner driving lay-up and two free throws from McDowell cut the deficit to 44-40 just over three minutes later.
The Tribe knocked on the door a number of times but could not get over the hump and JMU maintained its lead as a Darren White jumper at the 7:29 mark put the Dukes on top 52-47. Over the next five and a half minutes, the Tribe went on a 16-2 run to take its largest lead of the contest at nine.
A Schneider 3-pointer closed the gap to two, before he found Sumner on an in-bounds pass for a 3-pointer from the right side at the 5:06 mark to give the College its first lead, 53-52, since early in the first half. McDowell extended the advantage to three with a pair of free throws, and then after a Bowles bucket cut the margin back to one, W&M scored eight straight points to seize control of the contest.
Schneider connected on his sixth triple of the game, before McDowell scored on a driving lay-up, drew the foul and converted on the free throw for a conventional 3-point play. Junior forward Marcus Kitts put an exclamation on the spurt with a thunderous dunk to give W&M a 63-54 lead with 2:05 remaining. The Dukes could get no closer than the final margin of five the rest of the way. Schneider hit 5-of-6 from the free throw line over the final minute to clinch the Tribe victory.
W&M shot 40.4 percent (23-of-57) from the floor and connected on 11 3-point field goals. The most impressive stat for the Tribe continued to be its assist-to-turnover ratio as W&M finished with 15 assists compared to just five turnovers. Only one of the turnovers came in the final 20 minutes of action. W&M also hit on 73.3 percent (11-of-15) from the free throw line in the second half. James Madison finished the contest shooting 50 percent (24-of-48) from the floor, but was just 25 percent (5-of-20) from 3-point range. The Dukes turned the ball over 12 times and W&M converted those into 18 points.
Schneider knocked down 3-pointers on the first two W&M possessions as the College jumper out to an early 6-2 lead. JMU took its first lead of the game on a 3-pointer from Julius Wells, but the Tribe regained the advantage, 10-9, on a pair of free throws from senior guard Sean McCurdy at the 15:55 mark.
The Dukes took control of the contest with a 12-2 run over the next six and a half minutes. A 3-pointer from Matt Parker at the 9:27 mark gave the Dukes a 21-12 lead. Back-to-back lay-ups from Bowles pushed the Duke lead to is largest of the opening half at 11, 26-15, with nearly seven minutes left in the first frame.
W&M scored six straight points and pulled to within 26-21 following a McDowell offensive putback with four minutes left. JMU, who shot 54.2 percent from the floor in the first half, took the momentum to the intermission as Wells knocked down a 3-pointer from the right wing with 37 second left in the frame to give the Dukes a 33-24 lead at the break.
Bowles tallied a double-double for JMU with 17 points on 7-of-8 shooting from the floor to go along with 15 rebounds. Wells finished with 14 points on four 3-pointers, while White chipped in 11 points off the bench.
The Tribe's CAA semifinal against Northeastern will be televised on The Comcast Network, Comcast/Charter Sports Southeast, Comcast SportsNet-New England, CAA-TV and in the Hampton Roads area on WSKY4. The contest will also be available over the Internet at ESPN360.com.
Fans can catch the action over the Tribe Radio Network with Jay Colley, Bill McDonald and Charlie Woollum on the call. The Tide 92.3 FM in Williamsburg is the flagship station of the Tribe Radio Network. The contest will be available over the Web at TribeAthletics.com. Live stats can be found at CAASports.com or by following the link on the schedule page at TribeAtheltics.com.