James Madison Dukes senior guard Devon Moore stood under his own basket looking to inbound the ball with 17 seconds left in the first round contest of the CAA Tournament against the William & Mary Tribe.
His pass to fellow senior, RayShawn Goins, was tipped out of bounds. On his next inbounds attempt, Moore couldn’t get the ball inbounds and was forced to call a timeout. Out of the timeout, another Dukes senior, A.J. Davis, attempted to inbound for JMU, but his pass to Moore resulted in a turnover.
It was the one of the only mistakes that the James Madison cast of seniors made all game. The Dukes cast of starting seniors really set the tone for their No. 3 seed team and put together a complete effort throughout the entire game.
Moore, Goins and Davis combined for 53 of JMU’s 72 points, a total that was able to best William & Mary’s 67 total points.
The starting point guard, Moore, seemed to get the basket at will in the first half. He entered the intermission with 12 points on 5-of-5 shooting from the field.
“I just knew that coming into the game this could be my last game playing college basketball,” Moore said. “I just went out their and tried to make plays. William & Mary is a great team, but I was able to just hit a couple shots early and really get it going. And A.J. was able to get going, too.”
Davis came out of the gates on fire too. He led the team with 13 points at the half, but truly took the collective breath away from all in attendance at Richmond Coliseum with two ferocious dunks and a zooming fast break layup.
“Coach [Matt Brady] just put my in the right position to give me scoring opportunities,” The super-athletic Davis said. “Coach had faith in me, my teammates had faith in me; we just went with the flow of the game and they called my number.”
Goins was the lone senior who started off the contest slowly. He struggled to the tune of 0-for-5 shooting in the opening period and seemed visibly frustrated. But, after sitting a handful of minutes midway through the second half, Goins returned for the final nine minutes of the game and ultimately helped seal the victory.
The senior scored all 13 of his points in the second half on 5-of-8 shooting while also grabbing four huge offensive rebounds.
In a tournament that always has seniors step up, the Dukes clearly benefitted from their upperclassmen.
“I don’t think you can replace seniors,” head coach Matt Brady said. “As good as our freshman class has played all season long, it’s really been our seniors who have been the reason why we were successful. They’re the reason we won tonight, they’re the reason we have as many wins that we have and they have shown great leadership.”