JMU snaps two-game losing streak
Sophomore guard Alioune Diouf‘s (Powder Springs, Ga./McEachern) career-high 19 points led a season high of 42 points off the bench as James Madison cruised to a 78-57 victory over Radford on Saturday night at the Dedmon Center.
JMU improved to 7-3 overall, snapped a two-game losing streak, and evened its record on its current five-game road trip to 2-2. The Dukes also improved to 10-2 in the head-to-head series with Radford, winning their fifth in a row. RU dropped to 2-7 on the season with its seventh straight loss.
JMU had a season-high 11 different players score in the game, including eight by halftime. Heading into the game, no more than seven players had scored in a game for JMU all season and the Dukes had only received double-figure points off the bench twice, including a season-high of 20 against Bucknell. JMU entered the game with six players accounting for 98 percent of the scoring for the season.
Diouf shot 60 percent from the floor (6-of-10) and made four of his six three-point attempts. He surpassed his previous career best of nine points after just five minutes of action and finished with 19 points in 21 minutes.
Junior forward Julius Wells (Toledo, Ohio/Libbey) was the only other Duke in double figures with 10 points. Junior forward Rayshawn Goins (Cleveland, Ohio/Glenville) had nine points and 13 rebounds to just miss a double-double.
Altogether 11 different players scored at least four points and four players scored their first points of the season, including the 19 by Diouf, five by senior guard Ben Louis (Melbourne, Australia/St. Francis Xavier), four by sophomore forward Trevon Flores (Harvey, La./Helen Cox), and the first four career points for freshman guard Kevin McGaughey (Ashburn, Va./Broad Run).
JMU led 37-20 at the break and opened the second half with a 12-1 run to pull ahead 49-21 with 16 minutes to go. The Dukes led by as much as 30 and only let the Highlanders within 20 points with under one minute to play in the contest.
Blake Smith led Radford with 12 points while Jareal Smith added nine. The Highlanders shot 33 percent for the game. Meanwhile, JMU shot 42 percent and had season highs of 48 rebounds and 19 assists.
JMU jumped out to a 21-6 lead in the first half, largely thanks to 15 points off the bench in the opening stretch. Radford cut the margin to 27-15 with eight minutes remaining, but the Dukes responded with a quick 6-0 run and went to lead at the half 37-20. JMU’s 35-16 lead just before the half was its largest of the season before building on it further in the second period.
Radford went separate stretches of eight and six minutes without a field goal in the opening half but also benefitted from free throws, going 9-for-13 at the line. JMU shot 47 percent in the opening session while holding Radford to 21 percent shooting and just five field goals, including opening the half going 1-for-11 (9 percent). The Dukes at one point were 6-for-10 on threes, including 3-for-3 by Diouf, and finished the half hitting 6-of-13.
JMU will be off for a week for semester exams before resuming action next Saturday, Dec. 18, with a 7 p.m. contest at South Florida of the Big East.