Sports

James Madison, La Salle advance in NCAA Tournament

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, Wednesday night in the First Four at Dayton, Ohio.

Immediately, their thoughts turned to top-seeded Indiana (27-6), who they'll play on the same University of Dayton Arena court Friday night.

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‘‘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, including the last three years.

Goins, JMU’s leading scorer (12.7) and rebounder (7.4), was suspended for the first half following a weekend arrest. Police in Harrisonburg, Va., said they were called to break up a party early Sunday morning and Goins was shouting obscenities at them.

It was not a huge falloff going to Davis in the starting lineup in place of Goins, since Davis was MVP of the Colonial Athletic Association tournament just over a week ago, and came in averaging 20.5 in his last 10 games and 20.7 in the CAA tourney.

La Salle 80, Boise State 71 — Tyrone Garland had 22 points, and the Explorers beat the Broncos in an old-fashioned shootout to win the second game at Dayton Arena.

The 13th-seeded Explorers (22-9) play fourth-seeded Kansas State on Friday in Kansas City, Kan.

Ramon Galloway, one of the Atlantic 10’s top scorers, added 21 points in a fast-paced offense that did pretty much whatever it wanted. The Explorers shot a season-high 63 percent from the field — 16 of 22 in the second half.

Garland went 9 of 11 from the field — his best shooting game of the season — and the Explorers were 11 of 21 behind the arc.

‘‘It’s an unbelievable feeling,’’ Garland said. ‘‘When I came here, coach [John Giannini] told me I could help him win games and get him to the next step.’’

Thirteenth-seeded Boise State (21-11) got its first at-large bid and was looking for the first NCAA Tournament win in its history.

Anthony Drmic had a game-high 28 points for the Broncos, who shot 49 percent but trailed most of the way.

La Salle is back in the tournament for the first time since 1992, a 21-year span that included a rape scandal involving three players.

Providence 75, Charlotte 66 — Vincent Council, the only senior on the roster, scored 8 straight points to key a second-half charge that led the host Friars past the 49ers in the first round of the National Invitation Tournament.

‘‘This is a great moment for us—great moment as our team is building, our program is building,’’ coach Ed Cooley said after his Friars overcame a 7-point second-half deficit.

Providence, winning its first postseason game since an NIT win in 2003, will host Robert Morris, which upset defending national champion Kentucky the previous night, either Sunday or Monday. If it is Sunday, the Friars will have to move the game to the University of Rhode Island because of the United Cheer and Dance Nationals at the Dunkin Donuts Center.

The Friars (18-14) erased a 7-point second-half deficit but trailed by 2 when Council had his personal run. He then got help from fellow guards Bryce Cotton and Kris Dunn to subdue the 49ers (21-12).

Cotton finished with 25 points, while Council had 16 points, 6 assists and 5 rebounds, and Dunn added 14 points and nine rebounds.

E. Victor Nickerson led Charlotte with 14 points. The 49ers lost eight of their last 12 after then-leading scorer DeMario Mayfield was suspended Jan. 30 and dismissed Feb. 22.

Richmond 76, Bryant 71 – Cedrick Lindsay scored 25 points and hit a key before the shot-clock buzzer late in the game to lead the visiting Spiders (19-14) past the Bulldogs (19-12) in the first round of the College Basketball Invitational tournament.

Alex Francis and Dyami Starks led Bryant with 16 points apiece.

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