RICHMOND, Va. -- Eddie Reddick was having a game he'd probably like to forget. In the final minute of overtime, however, the Navy senior forward extended his college career at least one game, scoring the final five points of Navy's 85-82 upset of top-seeded James Madison in the first round of the Colonial Athletic Association tournament yesterday at Richmond Coliseum.
The Midshipmen (8-20), who will move to the Patriot League next season, won a second consecutive game for the first time this season and became the first eighth-seeded team to win a CAA postseason game. They will play George Mason, an 87-73 victor over North Carolina-Wilmington, in today's 3 p.m. semifinal.
"To be truthful, I was rushing my shots," said Reddick, who finished with 17 points and 12 rebounds despite making only one of nine first-half shots. "I knew they had big men who were good shot blockers. In the second half, their big men had foul trouble, so I was getting closer to the basket."
Reddick made half of his six field-goal attempts after halftime before Steve Hood scored on a driving layup to give James Madison (19-10) the lead, 82-80, with 1 minute, 2 seconds remaining.
The final minute was as strange as it was exciting. With 46 seconds left, Reddick, at tempting a layup, was hammered by forward Billy Coles, who joined center Chancellor Nichols on the bench with five fouls. Reddick, a 62.4 percent foul shooter, made both shots to tie the game at 82.
Twenty seconds later, as the Dukes maneuvered for the final shot, Hood, alone high above the key, was whistled for taking an extra step while receiving a pass. After a Navy timeout, guard Mel Davis drove the lane before sending an underhand pass to Reddick, who made the layup and was fouled by Jeff Chambers. He completed the three-point play to give the Mids their winning margin.
"Coach [Pete Herrmann] told me at the timeout to look for the drive at the big guy. [Barry] Brown came at me and Eddie made a great catch and put it in," said Davis, who, besides his 10 points and four assists, did an impressive defensive job on Hood, the CAA's leading scorer.
After a timeout, James Madison still could tie with a three-pointer, but Dukes point guard Fess Irvin drove past the three-point line and missed badly on a 15-footer.
"We set up a play for a three-pointer, and he shot a two. You'd have to ask him why," said James Madison coach Lefty Driesell, whose team was the top seed for the second straight year, but has yet to take a CAA title.
I'm not certain about anything right now," he added. "Give Navy credit. They made us look bad."
The Mids should have won in regulation. Nick Marusich made two foul shots with 53 seconds to go to put Navy ahead, 73-67, the biggest lead for either squad. But the Mids, the league's most accurate foul shooters, missed three of four in the final 25 seconds.
Hood made a 25-footer and Brown two layups in the last 25 seconds, including one at the buzzer after recovering Hood's apparent turnover, tying the game at 74 and forcing an overtime.
For Navy, Erik Harris had game highs of 22 points and nine assists. Michael Burd scored 20, and Marusich had 14 points and a game-high 13 rebounds.
Hood had 21 points, but made only eight of 18 shots, as Davis, giving up six inches, forced the James Madison senior away from his favorite spots on the floor.
"The last two games I had to guard him, he had 25 and 29," said Davis. "There's no way I'm going to stop him one-on-one. I took it as a personal challenge to prevent him from taking his shots. He made some incredible shots, pro shots."
The victory proved especially sweet for the three Navy seniors:Reddick, Harris and Davis. As freshmen, they inherited David Robinson's legend but have compiled only a 31-81 record since.
They had gathered over ice cream late Friday night in the hotel coffee shop.
"We sat down over dessert," said Davis. "In my career we've never won a CAA tournament [game], and we've never won a Christmas tournament. It was our last chance."
"I'm very happy for the seniors because they've been through so much," said Herrmann. "I thought it was terrific."
George Mason (13-15) went on a 27-10 run in the first half against North Carolina-Wilmington (11-17). Mitch Madden and Robert Dykes had six points apiece, as the Patriots built a 34-26 edge with 4:30 left in the half.
In the second half, after the Patriots stretched their advantage to 49-39 with 18:42 to play, North Carolina-Wilmington cut it to four twice, the last at 63-59 on a short jumper by Brannon Lancaster at the 7:12 mark. George Mason scored nine of the next 11 points to push its lead back to double digits.
In another first-round game, Richmond defeated East Carolina, 86-62. Curtis Blair scored a career-high 27 to lead a 12-0, first-half run for the Spiders. Second-seeded Richmond (19-9) beat the Pirates (12-16) for the 10th time in their last 11 meetings.
American beat William and Mary 70-57, as Brian Gilgeous scored 17. American enjoyed a large free-throw advantage, making 18 of 25 to William and Mary's four of eight.