Hot-shooting JMU men’s basketball coasts past Longwood, 82-60

jmu logoJunior guard Winston Grays (Cleveland, Ohio/Benedictine (Cincinnati State)) and sophomore guard Jackson Kent (High Point, N.C./High Point Christian) combined for 38 points and the James Madison men’s basketball team shot 59 percent for the game to defeat Longwood 82-60 on Wednesday night at the JMU Convocation Center.

JMU, which produced its largest margin of victory since a 28-point victory against UNCW on Jan. 9, 2013, improved to 2-1 with its second victory in three nights in its third straight home game against an in-state opponent. LU fell to 1-1 on the young season.

Grays posted the second 20-point performance in as many games by the Dukes after shooting 8-for-15 from the floor with two assists. Kent started the game 6-for-7 from the field and finished 7-for-11 for a career-high 18 points, including 4-for-5 from the arc. He also had four assists in the triumph.

Overall four Dukes scored in double figures as sophomore forward Yohanny Dalembert (Port-au-Prince, Haiti/Lower Merion (Pa.)) added 14 points and two steals while sophomore forward Tom Vodanovich (Wellington, New Zealand/St. Patrick’s College) contributed 11 points off the bench in his season debut with a team-high six rebounds and two steals.

JMU’s 59 percent shooting was the highest since Jan. 3, 2011, when it also shot 59 percent against Georgia State. The Dukes were sitting over 60 percent for most of the game until the final three minutes of play. Madison went 8-for-13 (62 percent) from the outside the arc and also connected on 14 of its 15 attempts at the charity stripe (93 percent).

Longwood was led by Darrion Allen’s 20 points. Lotanna Nwogbo added 12 points and seven rebounds and Shaquille Johnson chipped in 10. The Lancers shot 42 percent for the game but went just 6-for-28 (21 percent) from the arc.

JMU used perfect shooting in the opening six minutes, going 6-for-6 from the field. Trailing 7-4, a Grays 3-pointer sparked a 13-2 run for the Dukes, which also included a pair of treys by Kent, giving the hosts a 17-9 advantage with 14:17 to go in the half.

The Lancers scored eight of the game’s next 11 points to cut JMU’s lead back to 20-17 but with the Dukes ahead 26-24, an old-fashioned three-point play by Grays and long ball by Kent gave them a 32-24 lead with 3:19 to go. They would take a 38-32 advantage to the locker room.

Leading 42-37 early in the second half, JMU used a 7-0 run in just 1:37 to take a 49-37 lead with 15:30 left. Longwood tried to keep it close but the Dukes broke the game wide open when a Kent jumper with 11:11 left ignited a 13-3 run in a little more than three and a half minutes to give JMU a comfortable 68-49 lead with 7:36 to play.

The Dukes led by as many as 25 down the stretch at 79-54 before ultimately taking the contest by 22.

JMU continues its five-game home stand to open the season with a Nov. 24 contest against Colgate at 7 p.m. in the Buckeye Classic.


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