JMU upsets Kent State, improves to 10-3

James Madison used a key 16-2 second-half run and ended Kent State’s 15-game home winning streak with a 60-51 victory on Friday afternoon at the Memorial Athletic and Convocation Center in a non-conference men’s basketball game.

JMU won its fourth in a row to improve to 10-3 for the season. KSU fell to 9-5 for the season with the loss. The 15-game win streak in the MAC Center, which started Jan. 20, was the 10th-longest in the nation entering the day.

Junior forward Rayshawn Goins (Cleveland, Ohio/Glenville), playing an hour from home, led three Dukes in double figures with his fourth double-double of the season on 14 points and 13 rebounds. Fellow Ohio natives Humpty Hitchens (Chillicothe, Ohio/Chillicothe) and Julius Wells (Toledo, Ohio/Libbey) added 11 and 10 points, respectively. Sophomore guard Devon Moore (Columbus, Ohio/Northland) had a season-high eight assists.

Rodriguez Sherman led KSU with 17 points, five boards, and five assists. Justin Greene had a double-double with 14 points, 12 rebounds, two blocks, and three steals.

Trailing 32-31 early in the second half (17:21), JMU used a key 8-0 run, capped by the first of three three-pointers from Hitchens, to take a 39-32 lead. After a layup by the Golden Flashes, JMU used a second 8-0 run to go up 47-34 with 12:05 remaining.

Kent State pulled as close as eight points on three occasions but JMU was able to maintain control and go on for the 60-51 victory.

Both teams struggled at times shooting as the Dukes shot 37% from the floor and the arc while hitting 16-of-26 free throws (61.5%). KSU shot 30% from the field and just 19% on threes (4-for-21). It was the fifth straight game for JMU holding opponents under 40% shooting.

It was a back-and-forth first half with four ties and seven lead changes. JMU pulled out to its largest lead at 23-18 with 4:29 to go only to see KSU reel off a 7-0 run to reclaim the advantage. The Flashes took a one-point lead into the break at 28-27.

Wells led the Dukes with eight points in the first half while Goins and sophomore forward Andrey Semenov (St. Petersburg, Russia/Blue Ridge School) had six apiece with Goins adding eight boards. Greene and Sherman had eight each for KSU while Porrini had seven.

After going 10-2 in non-conference play, JMU will resume Colonial Athletic Association action in earnest on Monday with a 7 p.m. home game against Northeastern. The Dukes will put their 5-0 record in the Convo on the line against the 4-8 Huskies, whose only true road win came in overtime in the second game of the season at Southern Illinois.

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Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, by Jerry Ratcliffe and Chris Graham, is available for $25.


The book, with additional reporting by Zach Pereles, Scott Ratcliffe and Scott German, will take you from the aftermath of the stunning first-round loss to UMBC in 2018, and how coach Tony Bennett and his team used that loss as the source of strength, through to the ACC regular-season championship, the run to the Final Four, and the thrilling overtime win over Texas Tech to win the 2019 national title, the first in school history.
 
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