The James Madison men’s basketball team will return to the road and travel to Valparaiso to face the Crusaders on Saturday at 3 p.m. The Dukes will fly through Chicago for the second time in a week following a loss in their home opener to Detroit Tuesday night.
The Dukes (2-3) fell to Detroit 71-67 after leading for majority of the first half but being unable to overcome the deficit in the second. Four players, sophomore Charles Cooke, graduate student Andrey Semenov and freshmen Jackson Kent and Ivan Lukic, all scored in double figures, but the team was unable to cash in on Detroit’s 31 personal fouls, missing 19 shots at the free-throw line (26-45).
With five different leading scorers in the first five games, JMU has been receiving contributions from all of its players. The balance among the team has also been displayed through rebounding, as the Dukes have had different top rebounders in four of their five games.
Valparaiso (2-3) will be returning home after a 100-92 loss on the road to Evansville Wednesday night. Freshman Alec Peters scored a Valpo season- best 30 points, while seniors LaVonte Dority and Jordan Coleman added to the double-figure scoring with 17 and 12 points, respectively. After falling behind by as much as 27 points after the start of the second half, the Crusaders came within six but ultimately were unable to come out on top.
Valparaiso is led by head coach Bryce Drew, who scored the memorable game-winning buzzer shot for Valpo in the first round of the 1998 NCAA Tournament before going on to have a successful career in the NBA.
This will be the first time that James Madison and Valparaiso will meet on the hardwood.
After its game against Valpo, JMU will travel to South Carolina to take on Winthrop at 7p.m. on November 27th.