VCU pulls away from JMU, 65-45

VCU limited James Madison to four points in the final 12 minutes of the game, pulling away from a 42-41 lead to record a 65-45 victory in a Colonial Athletic Association men’s basketball game Thursday evening at the Stuart C. Siegel Center.

VCU improved to 12-5 overall and 3-2 in the CAA while JMU dropped its fourth straight league contest to fall to 8-8 overall and 1-4 in the conference.

Reserve guard Treveon Graham led all players with 18 points on 6-of-10 shooting for VCU.  Bradford Burgess had a double-double with 10 points and 12 boards while Juvonte Reddic had a near double-double with nine points and 11 boards, though the duo combined for 4-for-21 shooting from the floor.  Darius Theus had 12 points and five boards.

Junior guard A.J. Davis (Columbus, Ohio/Harmony Community) led JMU with 13 points.  Junior guard Devon Moore (Columbus, Ohio/Northland) added nine points, five boards and five assists.  Junior forward Andrey Semenov (St. Petersburg, Russia/Blue Ridge School) had seven points and matched his career high with 10 rebounds.

After trailing by nine at the half at 33-24, JMU worked its way back into the game over the first five minutes of the second half.  A 6-0 JMU run made it 35-30 and forced a VCU timeout at the 17:22 mark.  After a VCU basket, Moore hit a three-point play, fed Davis on an alley-oop dunk and Davis stole the ensuing possession and slammed it home for a 7-0 run and a 37-37 tie.

It was a one-point game at 42-41 with 12:17 remaining when VCU went on its run.  A Troy Daniels three-point field goal made it 45-41 with 12 to go.  The Dukes held the Rams to four points over the next five minutes but could get nothing going on offense as VCU pulled away.

Moore’s jumper with eight minutes to go cut it to 49-43 but was the only field goal of the game for JMU over the final 12 minutes.  The Dukes added just a pair of free throws as VCU outscored Madison 23-4 over the final 12 minutes of the game.

The Rams led the Dukes in rebounds 44-30, including 15 offensive boards leading to a 15-5 advantage in second-chance points.  JMU limited VCU to 36 percent shooting from the field, but the Rams hit eight three-pointers, made 10 more free throws and limited Madison to 33 percent from the field and 23 percent from the arc.

The first half was played in segmented fashion, opening with a frenetic back-and-forth pace that saw the Dukes ahead 10-7 after five minutes.  From there, the pace slowed to a crawl as both teams combined for one field goal for over five minutes of game action.

JMU led 12-10 halfway through the period when VCU made its run to move ahead.  A Burgess three-pointer capped an 8-0 burst to make it 18-12.  That ignited a stretch of four treys in five minutes for the Rams as VCU continued with full-court pressure and limiting any second-chance opportunities for the Dukes.

The Rams went ahead by as many as 11 points at 31-20 before taking a 33-24 advantage into the half.  VCU hit 5-of-11 threes in the period and held a 20-12 advantage on the boards.

JMU returns to the Convocation Center on a short turnaround with a 7 p.m. game Saturday evening against in-state rival George Mason.  It will be the first home televised game of the season with the contest airing on Comcast SportsNet-Mid Atlantic Plus.


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