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JMU men post first win of hoops season

Staff Report

Sophomore Julius Wells’ (Toledo, Ohio/Libbey) double-double led five players with double-figure scoring as James Madison took down Florida International 81-68 on Sunday evening in the 2K Sports Classic benefitting Coaches vs. Cancer at FIU’s U.S. Century Bank Arena.

JMU picked up its first win of the season to improve to 1-2. FIU fell to 2-4 on the season and suffered its first home loss to drop to 2-1 on its floor.

The Dukes trailed by one at 36-35 early in the second half when Wells led a 14-0 run to put JMU in front to stay. Wells hit three consecutive three-point field goals to close the run and give JMU a 13-point lead at 49-36. FIU got no closer than six the rest of the way.

Wells posted 23 points and a career-high 12 rebounds to lead the JMU charge with his fourth career double-double. He connected on six of his 10 three-point attempts to match his career high for three-point field goals.

Wells was the key to a JMU long-range shooting effort that produced 13 three-pointers on 24 attempts (54.2 percent). The Dukes hit 7-of-12 treys in the opening half and added six on 12 tries in the second stanza. The Dukes shot 52.8 percent (28-53) overall from the floor while holding FIU to 37.5 percent shooting (24-64), including hitting only six of 27 three-pointers.

Freshman Darren White (Danville, Va./Dan River) had the best outing of his young career with 20 points on 8-of-14 shooting from the field, connecting on four of his seven three-point opportunities.

Senior Matt Parker (Charlotte, N.C./Statesville Christian) had a career night, setting personal highs for points (13), rebounds (5), and field goals (5) while connecting on three of four tries from the arch in 21 minutes.

Fellow senior Pierre Curtis (Denver, Colo./East) added nine assists and 11 points while hitting 9-of-10 free-throw attempts, mostly in the final minutes of play as JMU held on to a double-figure lead. Junior Ben Louis (Melbourne, Australia/St. Francis Xavier) added 10 points, six boards, and three assists.

JMU will conclude competition in the 2K Sports Classic at FIU on Monday afternoon at 4 p.m. against North Carolina Central.

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