GREENSBORO, N.C., – UNCG went 8-for-11 from the arc in the second half and received 21 points from Nicholas Paulos and 20 from Kyle Cain to defeat James Madison men’s basketball 75-63 on Wednesday evening at the Greensboro Coliseum.
UNCG evened its record at 6-6 while JMU fell to 3-9. It was the first win in six head-to-head games in the all-time series for the Spartans, who are coached by former JMU guard Wes Miller.
After trailing 42-36 at the break, UNCG got hot quick in the second half, going 4-for-4 from the arc in the first three and a half minutes to take a 50-48 lead. The Spartans maintained a narrow margin for the next seven minutes.
Leading 62-59, UNCG held JMU scoreless for six minutes while scoring seven unanswered points to take their largest lead of the game at 69-59. JMU got no closer than eight the rest of the way before falling 78-65.
Sophomore guard Ron Curry (Pennsauken, N.J./Paul VI) topped 20 points for the first time in his career to finish with 23 plus four rebounds. He was the only JMU player in double figures as sophomore guard Charles Cooke (Trenton, N.J./Trenton Catholic) added nine to snap his streak of 10 straight games in double figures.
Paulos went 7-for-11 from the arc to pace a UNCG perimeter attack that followed a 3-for-8 first half with an 8-for-11 second half to finish 58 percent overall from long distance. Cain added 20 points, seven rebounds and three assists. Two other Spartans were in double figures as R.J. White and Kayel Locke added 12 and 11 points, respectively.
The second half went entirely the Spartans way. In addition to the 8-for-11 showing from the arc, they shot 56 percent overall and outrebounded the Dukes 19-14 after JMU had led 14-11 in the first half. UNCG had 18 assists for the game compared to six for the Dukes, including an 11-1 comparison in the second half.
Meanwhile JMU was limited to 32 percent shooting in the second period and 1-for-11 (9 percent) from the arc. That followed a first half that was 57 percent overall and 44 percent from the arc for the Dukes.
UNCG had a quick start with consecutive threes from Paulos in the first minute. JMU responded with a six-point spurt of its own and took its first lead on a corner three-pointer by Curry at 9-8. The Dukes maintained the lead and built it to as large as six points at 25-19 at the midway point of the period.
The Spartans rallied back and tied the game at 30-30 before then taking their first lead in over 12 minutes at 32-31. However, Madison had one last push and ended the half on an 11-4 swing for a 42-36 lead at the half.
It was the most first-half points of the season for JMU, which shot 57 percent from the floor and 4-for-9 from the arc while also going 12-for-14 at the charity stripe in the half.
James Madison wraps up its eight-game swing away from home on Saturday with a 3 p.m. tip vs. Hampton in the Governor’s Holiday Hoops Classic at the Richmond Coliseum. The game will be televised nationally on NBC Sports Network.
NOTES: Graduate student Andrey Semenov (St. Petersburg, Russia/Blue Ridge School) became the 27th player in JMU history to reach 1,000 career points with his long jump shot near the 12 and a half minute mark of the first half… JMU was playing in the Greensboro Coliseum for the first time since dropping a second round NCAA Tournament game to Michael Jordan’s North Carolina team in 1983.