Roundup: VMI falls to WVU, JMU knocks off E. Michigan

Casey Mitchell had 25 points, Kevin Jones had 22 and the West Virginia Mountaineers broke open a close game over the final seven minutes, en route to an 82-66 win over the VMI Keydets Saturday night in Charleston, W. Va.

VMI suffered its first loss of the season and fell to 5-1 while West Virginia improved to 4-1.

The Keydets were paced in scoring by junior guard Keith Gabriel and freshman point guard Rodney Glasgow who each scored 18 points while senior guard Austin Kenon added 10 points.

Despite holding a 46-38 advantage on the boards and pounding out a 48-20 advantage in points in the paint, West Virginia found it difficult to shake the Keydets until the final seven minutes of regulation. Leading 38-30 at the break, WVU upped its margin to 13 points, 47-34, with 16:26 left in the second half Mitchell converted a three-point play.

The Keydets still trailed by a dozen as late as the 9:41 mark when guard Joe Mazzulla converted a layup to make it 59-47, but VMI chipped away with a 13-5 run over the next three minutes and pulled within 64-60 when Glasgow drained a trey at the 7:50 mark. The spurt was fueled by a resurgent outside shooting as Kenon also canned two from long range over the run.

The Mountaineers answered with 10 straight points to push the lead back to double-digits and gradually pulled away. Mazulla and Kevin Jones started the spurt with back-to-back layups and another Jones layup pushed the Mountaineer lead to 10 points, 70-60. The WVU lead grew to as much as 17 points when Mitchell hit a jumper to make it 80-63 with two minutes left in regulation.

The first half saw four ties and five lead changes as the Keydets were sparked by Gabriels 10 points before intermission. VMI led 25-22 on a pair of Ron Burks free throws at the 6:34 mark before a Mitchell layup capped six straight points and sent the Mountaineers on a 12-1 run.

VMI shot 33.8% from the field for the game while the Mountaineers hit 47.7% of attempts from the floor. The Keydets connected on just two treys in the first half before nailing seven 3-pointers after halftime.

VMI freshman forward D. J. Covington and sophomore guard Joe Carr were both held out of the game because of injuries.

The teams were meeting for the first time since the 1968-69 season. The contest was played before a full house of 12,367 at the Charleston Civic Center.

Dukes get big games from Bowles, Goins in win

Forwards Denzel Bowles (Virginia Beach, Va./Kempsville) and Rayshawn Goins (Cleveland, Ohio/Glenville) each had double-doubles with a combined 46 points and 23 rebounds to lead James Madison to a 74-68 men’s basketball victory over Eastern Michigan on Saturday night at the Convocation Center.

JMU won its fifth game in a row to improve to 5-1 for the season. The streak matches the longest for the Dukes since taking five from Nov. 24 to Dec. 17 in the 2007-08 season. EMU fell to 1-3 on the season.

Bowles finished with 21 points and 11 rebounds for his third double-double of the season. His night included a 13-for-13 performance at the free-throw line to break JMU and Convocation Center records for free-throw percentage in a game with both previously standing at 12-for-12.

Goins had JMU career highs of 25 points and 12 rebounds for his third double-double in six games. He scored 21 of his 25 points in the second half when he went 8-for-12 from the floor and 6-for-8 on free throws.

JMU held a narrow lead for most of the second half and the entire final 16 minutes. The Dukes were up by seven at 66-59 with 4:13 to go. EMU leading scorer Brandon Bowdry hit a layup to make it a five-point game with 3:53 left.

Both teams then went scoreless for two full minutes until Darrell Lampley connected on a three-pointer to make it 66-64 with 1:46 to go. Goins responded with a layup on JMU’s next possession only to see Bowdry hit a jumper to keep it a two-point contest.

With 45 seconds remaining, Goins missed a jumper, however JMU got a long tap-out rebound to reset a new possession with just a four-second differential on the shot clock and game clock. Sophomore guard Devon Moore (Columbus, Ohio/Northland) was fouled beyond the arc with 25.5 seconds remaining and hit both to put the Dukes up by four.

After the Eagles’ final timeout, Lampley hit a baseline jumper to make it a two-point game gain with 15 seconds to go. Moore was fouled again on the inbounds play and again hit both free throws.

EMU missed a pair of three-point opportunities in the final eight seconds before junior forward Julius Wells (Toledo, Ohio/Libbey) grabbed the defensive rebound and hit a pair of free throws to account for the final 74-68 margin.

In addition to the dominating inside performance by Bowles and Goins, Moore added 12 points to give JMU three in double figures.

The 13-for-13 for Bowles was part of an overall 31-for-39 performance (79.5%) at the foul line by the Dukes. JMU shot 37.5 percent from the floor while making just one of 12 three-pointers (8.3%).

EMU placed four players in double figures, led by Bowdry with a double-doubl eof 22 points and 13 rebounds. Lampley had 15 points, six assists, and three steals. Derek Thompson had 13 points and six rebounds. Matt Balkema posted 10 points and seven boards with eight of his points in a four-minute stretch to open the second half.

The Eagles shot 42.2 percent for the game and made 7-of-20 three-point field goals. They held a narrow 41-39 edge in rebounds. However, the Dukes had a significant advantage on free throws with the 31-for-39 performance compared to just seven makes in 11 attempts for EMU.

After trailing most of the first half, the Dukes held the advantage for most of the second half but were never able to pull away for a sizable lead over the Eagles. Leading 48-46 with 9:45 to go, JMU went on a 10-4 run to open its largest lead of the game at 58-50 with 7:37 remaining. That run included a three-pointer by junior guard Humpty Hitchens (Chillicothe, Ohio/Chillicothe) with 8:33 left. It was JMU’s first and only three of the contest.

However, like most of the second half, JMU could not build on the advantage as EMU responded with a 7-1 run with a three by Jay Higgins to make it a 59-57 score with 5:19 to go.

JMU then got consecutive big conversions with a three-point play by Goins, a tip-in by Wells on a missed layup by Hitchens, and Bowles’ final two free throws to set up the 66-59 advantage with 4:13 to go.

It was a sloppy first half for both teams with EMU shooting 30% from the floor and JMU shooting 26%, including 0-for-7 on three-pointers.

The Dukes went to the locker room with the lead despite sitting in front for only 52 seconds of the opening half. The Eagles were up 23-21 with time winding down when Bowles rebounded Moore’s runner and was fouled on the made put back. Bowles’ free throw with 1.2 seconds left gave JMU the 24-23 halftime lead.

Bowles led all players with 12 points and nine boards in the opening session. Bowdry and Thompson each had eight for EMU.

Next up for JMU will be a road contest Wednesday at Longwood at 7 p.m. The game will be televised on Fox College Sports Atlantic and will be the first-ever televised home event in Longwood history.

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