Mann shoots down Dukes by 3

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February 2, 2007

7:41 PM

Behind hot-shooting junior guard Nathan Mann, the Tribe held off James Madison University to win 62-59 Wednesday at Kaplan Arena. With the victory, the Tribe improved to 12-10 overall and 5-7 in the CAA. Mann reached a season-high 21 points on eight of 11 shooting, including a career-high tying five three-pointers.

p. “He was pretty good, wasn’t he?” Head Coach Tony Shaver said.

p. “It is nice for him to have a ballgame like that.”

p. Mann connected on six of the Tribe’s 11 field goals in the second half and capped a key second half run for the College. JMU had cut the deficit to four with 16 minutes and 6 seconds left, but the Tribe answered with two hustle plays. Sophomore forward Alex Smith lunged across the lane, gathered a rebound and dished to senior guard Adam Payton, who laid the ball in and completed an old-fashioned three-point play.

p. On the other end of the floor, freshman guard David Schneider hit the floor for a loose ball and tipped it to Mann. Mann delivered a perfect pass to Payton who slammed it home. On the next possession, Mann connected on a three-pointer and the Tribe found itself up by 12 with 14:33 left.

p. “Those were the plays of the night,” Shaver said. “We need to make more of those effort plays to make me happy.”
In addition to Mann, junior forward Laimis Kisielius and Payton reached double figures with 13 and 16 points, respectively. Moreover, Schneider matched his best floor game of the season with six assists and just one turnover.

p. For the second time in a week, the College bounced back from tough road losses with home victories.

p. Prior to Monday night’s game at Virginia Commonwealth University, Shaver said, “we’re going right back into the fire [of the CAA].”

p. He was right. VCU scorched the Tribe with its superior speed and dead-eye shooting. The result was a 68-90 defeat for the College.

p. VCU shot 55.7 percent from the floor and a sizzling 50.0 percent from three-point range as they hit 12 three-pointers. The College shot the ball well, too, at 48.1 percent, but it was not enough to keep up with the Rams.

p. The Tribe jumped out to a quick 5-0 lead on Schneider’s three-pointer and Kisielius’ jumper, but after two straight VCU three-pointers the lead was gone and the Rams never looked back. VCU enjoyed a 12-point halftime lead and stretched it to as many as 27 late in the second half.

p. VCU’s defensive pressure forced the College into 16 turnovers, which led to 21 points off turnovers for the Rams. The Tribe had only two points off turnovers and could not slow down VCU’s talented backcourt of Eric Maynor, B.A. Walker and Jamal Shuler. The trio combined for 59 points and hit all 12 of the Rams’ three-pointers.

p. The Tribe’s two leading scorers — Kisielius and Payton — continued to produce for the College as Kisielius notched a season-high 22 points and Payton added 12 points.

p. In last Saturday’s home game against Georgia State University, the Tribe put on an offensive clinic en route to defeating the Panthers 81-65. The College shot 60.9 percent and had 18 assists on 28 made baskets (including 13 assists for 15 scores in the second half).

p. “We got great shots. In the last two weeks we haven’t made these [shots],” Shaver said.

p. The Tribe put an end to its five-game losing streak with the win.

p. “I thought [the victory] was huge,” Shaver said. “This basketball team didn’t feel like we were coming off a five-game losing streak. We didn’t feel we’re playing bad ball. I was so excited with the energy and excitement on the court.”

p. The College took the lead for good on Schneider’s three-pointer with 6:29 to go in the first half. The Tribe began the second half with a six-point advantage and extended the lead to 11 by the 18:40 mark. Georgia State would only get to within seven points the rest of the way as the College’s offense ignited and its lead grew to as many as 24.

p. The team’s energy led to a stellar performance that included sophomore forward Chris Darnell’s baseline dunk. Darnell converted his free-throw for the three-point play and finished with eight points in eight minutes.

p. Payton and Kisielius led the Tribe in scoring with 17 apiece and sophomore forward Peter Stein chipped in a season-high 12 points.

p. The College hosts the University of North Carolina, Wilmington tomorrow night at 7 p.m. at Kaplan Arena.

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