Andrey Semenov led James Madison to a 73-69 overtime victory in a men’s basketball exhibition game against Philadelphia University on Sunday afternoon at the Convocation Center. A graduate student, Semenov accumulated a team-high 28 points, 13 of which came during overtime play, including a game-winning three-pointer with seven seconds to go.
The Dukes began the second half trailing after a 8-0 run by Philadelphia, its second eight-point spurt to begin a half of the game. After being behind by as many as 15 points, JMU began its comeback using a 14-2 run over the course of four and a half minutes. A pair of free throws by sophomore Charles Cooke tied the game at 44 apiece.
The Dukes took their first lead after a jumper by sophomore Taylor Bessick with 7:47 remaining. Another free throw by Bessick tied the game yet again with less than a minute remaining on the clock. Philadelphia had a chance to win it at the end of regulation but couldn’t connect on a contested three.
After the 8-0 deficit from the opening tip, Bessick got the team started with a basket at the 15:33 minute mark. A Philadelphia four-basket run halfway through the first put the Dukes in a 14-point hole. The team rallied toward the end of the half, scoring 12 points in the course of six and a half minutes to narrow the score to 30-23 at the break.
Bessick was second in team scoring and had a double-double with 11 points and a team-high 13 rebounds. Freshmen Tom Vodanovich and Jackson Kent also played key roles in the game. Vodanovich went 4-5 to put up a total of nine points and acquired six rebounds during his play in the second half. Kent led the team in assists with a total of six. Cooke and point guard Ron Curry contributed 10 points apiece.
Derek Johnson led the Rams with 20 points and seven rebounds. Nick Schlitzer added 17 points, eight boards and six assists. Peter Alexis, the brother of former JMU women’s player Meredith Alexis, tallied 12 points and nine rebounds. Nick Chrstian added 12 points while accumulating 10 personal fouls as Phila. U. was allowed to play through foul trouble due to roster depth concerns.
JMU will open its 2013-14 season on Friday, Nov. 8 at 7 p.m. when the Dukes travel to No. 24 Virginia with coverage on ESPN3.