JMU Tops Virginia in Front of Record Crowd

College Sports

HARRISONBURG, Va. – James Madison used outstanding defense and big shots in the final minutes to knock off Virginia on Tuesday evening, as the Dukes picked up a massive 52-49 win in front of a sold-out crowd at the Atlantic Union Bank Center.

The Dukes (8-2) held the Cavaliers (6-4) to just 14 points in the first half – Virginia’s lowest-scoring opening half since at least 2009. JMU shot 40% (10-25) in the opening 20 minutes, then withstood a late charge from the Cavaliers to pick up its first-ever win over Virginia. 

On a night where the Dukes did not need a double-digit scorer, redshirt junior Vado Morse paced JMU with just nine points on 3-of-5 shooting, including a crucial 2-for-2 from long range. Redshirt freshman Justin Amadi pulled down nine boards to lead JMU on the glass.

HOW IT HAPPENED
First Half
The night started with both teams going a combined 0-6 from the floor until UVA scored the first points of the game at 18:05. The Cavaliers went on to control the start of the game, taking a 10-2 lead before the Dukes broke the skid.

Following a media timeout, JMU flipped the switch, ripping off a 22-1 run and holding Virginia scoreless from the 9:34 mark until the final three seconds, when the Cavaliers knocked down a three-pointer to cut JMU’s lead to 24-14 at the break.

Second Half
Virginia fought its way back after halftime, never letting the Dukes take a lead larger than 13 points.

Late in the half, the Cavaliers broke through and went on a 12-0 run that put them back on top, 45-44, with 3:50 to play. Over a minute later, JMU went back on top with an Amadi layup to take a one-point edge.

The teams traded the lead four times in the final two minutes, before graduate student Takal Molson knocked down back-to-back jumpers to put JMU on top for good at 52-49. Virginia guard Kihei Clark had a look for three on the ensuing possession, but Morse pulled down the biggest rebound of the night and the Dukes were able to see away Virginia’s half-court heave at the buzzer to seal the win.

QUICK HITS
– The JMU bench added 15 points in the win, while UVA’s bench chipped in just four points.
-The last time the Dukes held an opponent under 20 points in first half was Dec. 20, 2019 against Fordham, when the Rams scored 19.
– Tonight’s game marks JMU’s first-ever win over an active ACC team. It is also the first win over a Power 5 program since the Dukes topped Penn State 85-69 on Dec. 19, 2001.
– Tuesday marked the first time since Nov. 12, 2009 on a trip to Ohio State that the Dukes did not have any players scoring in double digits.

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