The Northeastern Huskies got back ended a two game losing with a win over 2nd place James Madison Dukes. The win for the Huskies, at 13-3 in CAA play, secured at least a share of the Colonial Athletic Association regular season title with two games remaining thanks to the heroics of freshmen guard David Walker’s 2 point basket with 2 seconds remaining. The Dukes came in winning 7 of their last night as well as two consecutive against Towson and Delaware. However, the season-high crowd of 3,463 came to historic Matthew’s arena and added to this historic occasion.
Northeastern and James Madison were ready for the potentially tough game, and came out in a tightly contested first half. Northeastern’s largest lead was 7 in the first half while Sophomore Reggie Spencer did much of the early on the low block. Spencer also hit a three pointed with the shot clock running down in the first half which was his first attempt and make of his collegiate career. With threes from Demetrius Pollard, Joel Smith and Zach Stahl late in the first half, the Huskies took a 6 point lead into the locker room at half.
That halftime lead evaporated within four minutes of the second half as turnovers and allowing offensive rebounds plagued the Huskies coming out of halftime. Charles Cooke and Rayshawn Goins led the push here for the Dukes turning that six point deficit into a six point lead on the road. Seniors Jon Lee and Joel Smith struggled a bit in this contest as it appears Joel Smith is still recovering from his ankle injury. Down 6 Coach Bill Coen went with his young lineup featuring only freshmen and sophomores and this group was able to claw their way back and tied that game up at the 5 minute mark. From this point down the stretch neither team led by more than 3 points. As senior guard A.J. Davis came off the bench for the Dukes and provided a huge spark from behind the arc. Davis scored 21 points and hit 4 threes, one of which tied the game with 18 seconds left. But it was David Walker’s game winning shot with 2.8 remaining from the assist by Jon Lee that proved to be the difference.
Quincy Ford and David Walker really picked up the offense with Joel Smith and Jon Lee struggling to find their offensive rhythm. Reggie Spencer played a very solid 30 minutes with 13 points and 5 rebounds as well as being tasked with guarding and limiting the talented Rayshawn Goins, who ended the night with 6 points.
The Huskies can take a bit of rest this week as they take their longest break since the December Holiday break. The Huskies will travel to Georgia State next week for a Wednesday night game. In the mean time The Northeastern Huskies can celebrate clinching at least of share of their first ever CAA championship and first conference championship since they won the America East in the 1992-93 season.