DAYTON – After winning the program’s first NCAA tournament game in 30 years, James Madison sounds as if it’s not done.
A.J. Davis, who stepped in as a starter because the leading scorer was suspended for a half, led the way with 20 points as the Dukes beat LIU Brooklyn 68-55 on Wednesday night in the First Four.
Immediately, their thoughts turned to top-seeded Indiana (27-6), who they’ll play on the same Dayton Arena court on Friday night.
They’re Indiana, defiant defensive stalwart Andre Nation said.
We know about them. We see them on the TV all the time. It’s not nothing new.
He’s not the only Duke who was undaunted.
We have some older guys. They’re typically pretty unafraid of any of the challenges we face, coach Matt Brady said.
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 by closing the game on a 10-2 run.
Charles Cooke, who hadn’t scored in three of his last four games, added 15 points and Nation added 14 for the Dukes, who were winless in the NCAA tournament 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.
Goins, JMU’s leading scorer (12.7) and rebounder (7.4), was suspended for the first half following a weekend arrest.
IOWA 68, INDIANA STATE 52: In Iowa City, Iowa, Devyn Marble scored 24 points, Aaron White added 11 with 13 rebounds and the Hawkeyes cruised past the Sycamores in the opening round of the NIT.
Melshan Basabe had nine points and eight boards for the Hawkeyes (22-12), who won a home game in the NIT for the second straight season.
Iowa will host Stony Brook in the second round on Friday night.
Iowa shook off a sluggish start with a 19-4 run to open the second half.
Playing before a sellout crowd of over 15,000, the Hawkeyes maintained a comfortable lead the rest of the way.
Justin Gant had 16 points to lead Indiana State (18-15), which was playing in the NIT for the first time since 1978.
STONY BROOK 71, MASSACHUSETTS 58: In Amherst, Mass., Anthony Jackson and Dave Coley scored 20 points each and Stony Brook beat Massachusetts.
PROVIDENCE 75, CHARLOTTE 66: In Providence, R.I., Vincent Council, the only senior on the Providence roster, scored eight straight points to key a second-half charge that led the Friars.
MERCER 75, TENNESSEE 67: In Knoxville, Tenn., Travis Smith scored 25 points to match his career high for Mercer.