HARRISONBURG, Va., – Redshirt senior forwards Rayshawn Goins (Cleveland, Ohio/Glenville) and Andrey Semenov (St. Petersburg, Russia/Blue Ridge School) poured in 19 and 17 points, respectively, as James Madison pulled away in the second half for a 71-61 victory over Winthrop in a non-conference men’s basketball game at the JMU Convocation Center.
JMU snapped a three-game losing streak to improve to 2-5 while winning its first game at home. WU fell to 2-4.
The Dukes led 34-28 after a back-and-forth first half and maintained a lead between six and 10 points for the first five minutes of the second half before pulling away.
Madison held a 42-34 advantage at the 15:28 mark when the Dukes embarked upon a 12-0 run to essentially clinch the victory with a 20-point lead. Goins had six of his 19 points during the run, which started with a transition alley-oop dunk from senior guard Devon Moore (Columbus, Ohio/Northland) to freshman guard Andre Nation (Plant City, Fla./Faith Baptist Christian).
The Eagles countered with a quick 8-0 spurt of their own and cut it to 10 at 58-48 with 4:47 to go. The Dukes built the margin back to 15 before Winthrop again crawled back with Andre Smith’s deep trey making it 67-59 with 44 seconds left. JMU hit all four free throw attempts in the final minute to put away its 71-61 triumph.
Goins tallied his 19 points on 6-of-9 shooting with eight rebounds. Semenov poured in 17 points on 6-of-11 shooting in his return from injury, having played just two minutes in the season opener at UCLA. He connected on a three-pointer just nine seconds after checking in and went 6-for-11 from the field.
Nation poured in nine points, four rebounds, a team-high six assists and two steals. Moore tallied nine points, four boards, five assists and a career-high four steals.
Smith led all players with 26 points for the Eagles, including a 4-for-6 showing from long distance. Gideon Gamble added 13 points on 6-for-11 shooting.
After opening the game 3-for-16 (19 percent) from the floor, JMU went 20-for-34 (59 percent) the rest of the way. That included a 55 percent (11-for-20) showing in the second half. The Dukes attempted just five threes after the break after going 4-for-14 (29 percent) in the first half.
Both teams committed 19 turnovers in the game. Winthrop shot 42 percent from the floor but attempted 14 fewer free throws as JMU was 20-for-26 (77 percent) while the Eagles were 10-for-12 (83 percent).
JMU began the first half holding Winthrop scoreless for the first four minutes, however the Eagles responded to tie it up at 9-9 and later went on a 9-0 run to pull in front 18-11.
Trailing 21-13, the Dukes embarked upon their own 8-0 run, capped by a Semenov three-pointer in transition to tie the score at 21-21. After a Gamble three, JMU rattled off another seven unanswered points with a three-point play by Charles Cooke giving Madison a 28-24 advantage. The Dukes took a 34-28 lead into the break for their largest lead of the half.
In his first action since two minutes in the season opener at UCLA, Semenov had 10 points in the first half with Goins adding nine. Smith and Gamble each had 11 for Winthrop. JMU opened the half hitting just three of its first 16 attempts from the field (19 percent) but heated up to finish at 40 percent for the period.
JMU plays its third of five straight games at home on Wednesday with a 7 p.m. game against East Tennessee State.
NOTES: JMU improved to 57-16 all-time against Big South Conference schools… Winthrop was the previously the only one of the current 12 Big South schools that JMU had not faced… the Dukes won the opening tipoff for the first time in seven games this season… JMU was whistled for its first foul on a player control violation with 1.1 seconds remaining in the first half… Madison’s 34-28 lead at the half was its first halftime advantage of the season… JMU’s 20-point lead at the 9:00 mark of the second half was its largest lead of the season… the previous high before facing Winthrop had been eight points.
James Madison head coach Matt Brady announced Saturday the indefinite suspension from competition of redshirt senior guard A.J. Davis from the men’s basketball team for a violation of team standards.
Davis appeared in the first six games for the Dukes with four starts and averaged 5.8 points per game.