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
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.
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.
- 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.
The Dukes welcome Radford to the Atlantic Union Bank Center this Saturday, Dec. 11 for a 7 p.m. tip-off. The Highlanders are 4-5 in 2021-22 so far, coming off a loss at West Virginia this past Saturday.