CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va., Nov. 8, 2013 – Virginia used a 17-1 first-half run to take command and received 13 points from Anthony Gill to lead a balanced scoring effort to defeat James Madison 61-41 on the opening night of the 2013-14 college basketball season on Friday night at John Paul Jones Arena.
JMU dropped its season opener to a Top 25 team for the fifth time in six seasons. UVA entered the season ranked 24th in the Associated Press Top 25 and 25th in the ESPN/USAToday Coaches Poll.
Holding a 13-10 lead nine minutes into the game, Virginia’s defense limited JMU to one point over a 12-minute stretch to take command with a 17-1 run. The Dukes missed 11 straight field goal attempts during the run as the Cavaliers built a 32-14 lead at the break and maintained a margin of at least 16 points for the remainder of the contest.
In his collegiate debut, freshman Tom Vodanovich (Wellington, New Zealand/St. Patrick’s College) connected on his first two shot attempts, both threes, and finished with a team-high 11 points to go with four rebounds and two assists.
Sophomore guards Ron Curry (Pennsauken, N.J./Paul VI) and Charles Cooke (Trenton, N.J./Trenton Catholic) each posted nine points for JMU with Curry adding four boards, four assists and three steals. Graduate student Andrey Semenov (St. Petersburg, Russia/Blue Ridge School) tallied eight points, five rebounds and two steals.
Gill went 5-for-5 from the field to take team scoring honors with 13 points. Mike Tobey was also in double figures with 10 points.
Virginia shot 44 percent in the first half while limiting JMU to 20 percent to open up its 18-point margin at the break. The Cavaliers finished the night shooting 42 percent while JMU improved to 44 percent in the second period for an overall mark of 31 percent.
The Cavaliers controlled the paint with a 45-27 advantage on the glass, leading to margins of 10-0 on second-chance points and 38-14 on points in the paint. Both teams struggled from deep with UVA going 4-for-18 (22 percent) from the arc and JMU going 6-for-25 (24 percent).
JMU will be on the road next weekend with a three-game trip to the NIU Invitational in DeKalb, Ill. The Dukes open against host Northern Illinois on Friday at 9 p.m. EST. Competition continues with neutral games against Milwaukee on Saturday at 6:30 and San Jose State on Sunday at 2 p.m.
NOTES: JMU fell to 23-22 all-time in season openersr… the Cavaliers improved to 9-0 in the all-time series with five wins over JMU as a Top 25 team… it was just the second meeting for the teams since 1983 (2003)… the JMU starting lineup (Semenov, Vodanovich, Curry, Cooke, Taylor Bessick) contained none of the same starters from the 2013 Colonial Athletic Association championship game… JMU is the youngest team in the country in terms of average class standing… the attendance of 11,934 was the 18th-highest attended game in JMU history.