Four players scored in double figures and James Madison shot 54% from the floor to defeat Presbyterian College 65-56 Tuesday night in the Harrisonburg Subregional of the O’Reilly Auto Parts CBE Classic at the Convocation Center.
JMU won its third game in a row to improve to 3-1 while PC fell to 1-4 with the loss. The three-game winning streak is the first for the Dukes since a four-game run through the first six games of the 2009-10 season.
Junior Rayshawn Goins (Cleveland, Ohio/Glenville) tied his season-high with 17 points and senior Denzel Bowles (Virginia Beach, Va./Kempsville) recorded his second straight double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds.
Junior Julius Wells (Toledo, Ohio/Libbey) scored 14 points while hitting four of his seven three-point attempts. He moved within six points of becoming the 24th player in JMU history to reach the 1,000-point milestone. Junior Humpty Hitchens (Chillicothe, Ohio/Chillicothe) chipped in 10 points for the Dukes
JMU outrebounded the Blue Hose 33-23 in the victory. The Dukes also benefitted from a 34-20 advantage in paint points and a 10-0 edge in fast break scoring.
Al’Lonzo Coleman led PC with 15 points and four steals. Pierre Miller and Khalid Mutakabbir added 11 and 10 points, respectively.
VMI improves to 5-0
Freshman D.J. Covington had 13 points and tied a school record with nine blocks, while Keith Gabriel went over the 1,000 career point plateau and the VMI Keydets went to 5-0 for the first time in the modern era by defeating the Southern Virginia Knights 94-78 Tuesday night at Cameron Hall in Lexington, Va.
VMI’s 5-0 start is the program’s best in the modern era, as the Keydets had not accomplished that feat since the 1921-22 season. The Keydets will take on last year’s national semifinalist West Virginia on Saturday afternoon, bidding for a 6-0 opening to the season.
On this night, however, Covington’s nine blocks tied Eric Mann’s nine rejections against The Citadel on Jan. 15, 2000. Only one other Keydet had ever posted more than six rejections in a single contest. Covington also had nine points and nine rebounds, missing a triple-double by just one of each statistic.
Gabriel started the contest 0 for 5, but finally hit the needed three-pointer at the 8:47 mark, becoming the 34th player in Keydet history, and second active VMI player, to surpass the 1,000-point plateau.
EMU survives scare
Last year, Eastern Mennonite opened the regular season with a midnight thumping of Lancaster Bible College at home, 96-53. This year, the Runnin Royals hit the road for the rematch and the Chargers were ready for the men on their home court. The two teams traded leads throughout the contest with EMU closing out on a 19-11 surge to survive with the win, 84-78.
The men slowly worked to a 6-0 lead in the game before LBC exploded for 10 straight points to go ahead. Eastern Mennonite regrouped and used a 24-9 run to take their biggest lead of the night at 30-19 after a D.J. Hinson (Newport News, Va./Menchville) three pointer at 8:45.
But the Chargers didn’t melt and closed the half on a 29-16 streak to grab a two-point edge at the break, 48-46.
Lancaster Bible led by as many as seven in the second half, but the Runnin Royals finally tied things up at 65-65 with a bucket from Orie Pancione (Augusta, WV/Hampshire).
The men grabbed the lead and gradually pushed it up to seven at 78-71 with 2:30 to play, but the Chargers still would not go away. They got four straight points to chip back within three points, but George Johnson (Richmond, Va./Miller School) buried a jumper with 1:01 remaining to keep the edge at five.
The Royals then made four of six free throws down the stretch to secure the win.