HARRISONBURG, VA., JAN. 19 -- James Madison held off a late surge by American University tonight to earn a 67-65 Colonial Athletic Association men's basketball victory before a sellout crowd at the JMU Convocation Center.

American (8-6, 3-2 CAA) had a chance to tie the game with five seconds left after the Dukes' Steve Hood missed the second of two foul shots and the Eagles rebounded. The normally sure-handed Brock Wortman brought the ball up the court and tried to dish off to Ron Davenport underneath the basket. However, Wortman was called for traveling and the Dukes took possession and then ran out the clock.

"Brock didn't walk -- no way," Eagles Coach Chris Knoche said. "When {the official} blew the whistle I thought he was going to call a reach-in. The call was unacceptable. They didn't let the players decide the game."

Said Madison Coach Lefty Driesell: "We're lucky to win that one. We tried to give them the game and they didn't take it. AU did a good job on defense. It's a win and that's about it."

Driesell was especially disappointed with Hood, who had a difficult time getting around the defense of Brian Gilgeous. Hood, his team's leading scorer, missed 13 of 14 field goal tries and ended with 13 points.

"I didn't think Steve played well at all," Driesell said. Gilgeous "did a good job on him. He kept on forcing bad shots."

The Dukes (9-6, 4-0) built an eight-point lead at the start of the second half, thanks to a 16-6 run. At one point they ran off eight consecutive points, four of which came from Billy Coles, who was one of the top scorers for the Dukes with 14 points. Fess Irvin also had 14.

"We dug a hole for ourselves," Knoche said. "We lost our composure and showed our youth."

The score was tied twice in the second half before James Madison took the lead to stay at 65-63 on Troy Bostic's tipin with 53 seconds remaining. Gilgeous's two free throws with 17 seconds left made the score 66-65 before Hood made a free throw, then missed.

It was close throughout the first half as well, with neither team able to hold more than a six-point lead.

American had a 26-25 advantage with 5:25 left before halftime when Gilgeous scored on a layin, and the Eagles never trailed in the half. JMU tied it at 32 with 37 seconds left onHood's two free throws.

However, Wortman (team-high 17 points) gave American a 34-32 halftime lead with an eight-foot jumper just before the buzzer.

Craig Sedmak added 16 points for the Eagles. Gilgeous had 15.