RICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ Darren McLinton scored 17 of his career-high 23 points in the second half Sunday as James Madison beat Richmond 81-70 in the semifinals of the Colonial Athletic Association.
The Dukes will play Old Dominion in Monday’s championship, setting up a rematch of last year’s game that the Dukes won 77-76 on a Kent Culuko 3-pointer at the buzzer.
It was Louis Rowe that jump-started the James Madison offense with a 9-0 second-half run. James Madison (6-12) trailed 38-35 with 14:54 left when Rowe started to work. First he nailed a fall-away jumper, then drove through two players on the baseline for a second score, and finished with a pair of free throws for a 41-38 Dukes lead with 13:17 left.
On the ensuing possession, Rowe blocked Rick Edwards shot, grabbed the loose ball and feed McLinton who pulled up for a 3-pointer to expand the James Madison lead to 44-38 with 12:52 left.
Richmond (8-19) stayed in the game on the 3-point shooting of Adam Mobley, who was 6 of 10 in the second half from long range.
But the Spiders could not overcome McLinton as the juniors alternated long-range shots with drives through the lane the remainder of the game.
Rowe finished with 21 points and 12 rebounds, and Culuko added 17 points.
Mobley led the Spiders with 18 points, all in the second half. Kass Weaver had 17 and Edwards 11.
The Spiders were 8 of 22 from the free-throw line.