by P.J. Wright
HARRISONBURG, Va. – Jordan Roland caught fire and Northeastern rode his hot hand to defeat James Madison University, 78-68, on Saturday afternoon at the Convocation Center.
The redshirt junior, who was slotted into the starting lineup for Donnell Gresham Jr., totaled 29 points, burying eight of 12 shots from beyond the arc. The Huskies went 3-18 from three went Jordan Roland wasn’t the one shooting the ball.
Roland went nine of 14 overall from the field and three of four from the charity stripe.
“I just felt like we needed a slight adjustment…today was Jordan’s turn,” said Northeastern head coach Bill Coen. “It was also an attempt to get Donnell going and maybe give him a little bit more minutes on the ball. I think both of those guys benefited from that switch.”
The Huskies led by as much as 20 points with 5:43 to go, but the Dukes brought the lead all the way down to seven with 1:16 remaining. Northeastern outscored JMU by three the rest of the way to hold on and win by 10 points.
“Teams are going to make a run at you, particularly in your own building,” Coen said. “I thought we lost our composure…We were just playing at a pace we didn’t need to and the biggest thing was to take care of the basketball…I thought we misplayed that section of the game by just ball security.”
Redshirt senior Vasa Pusica (10 points, 2-8 FG) and junior Bolden Brace (3 points, 1-9 FG) had off-nights shooting the ball but made their presences known on the glass with 10 and nine rebounds, respectively. They also had 10 assists between the two of them, leading the Huskies. Brace had six dimes, while Pusica dished 4.
“Those two guys are playmakers for us,” Coen said. “We were able to move both those guys around against the zone – in the middle of the zone – and I think that enabled a guy like Jordan to have that kind of night because of the ball movement out there.”
Junior Shawn Occeus was also all over the box score with 14 points, six rebounds, two assists and two blocks.
The Dukes were led by redshirt senior Stuckey Mosley, who had a team-high 23 points (9-24 FG, 3-11 3FG) and played all 40 minutes of the contest. Sophomore Matt Lewis had 17 points and six rebounds, while sophomore Zach Jacobs tacked on 10 points and five boards.
Next up, the Huskies return to Matthews Arena to take on the CAA-leading Hofstra Pride next Saturday at 4:30 p.m. Matt MacCormack, Justin Littman, and Mike Petillo are on the call for WRBB.