HARRISONBURG, Va., Jan. 9, 2012 - Junior guard A.J. Davis (Columbus, Ohio/Harmony Community), junior forward Andrey Semenov (St. Petersburg, Russia/Blue Ridge School) and senior guard Humpty Hitchens (Chillicothe, Ohio/Chillicothe) combined for 53 points as James Madison topped Hampton 74-67 for a non-conference men's basketball win Monday night at the Convocation Center.
JMU snapped a three-game losing skid and improved to 8-7 with its first victory at home since defeating The Citadel on Dec. 19. Hampton fell to 6-10.
The Dukes used a 15-0 run in the first half to take a nine-point lead into the break. Hampton slowly chipped away at the lead, tying the game at 51-51 and taking the lead at 54-53 with 10 minutes remaining.
It proved to be the only lead of the half for the visitor. The Dukes reclaimed the lead on a jumper by junior guard Devon Moore (Columbus, Ohio/Northland). Two free throws and a three-point field goal by Semenov made it a 7-0 swing.
After a Hampton three-pointer by Darrion Pellum made it 60-57 with 8:13 to go, Madison poured on nine more unanswered points with a dunk by Davis, a tip-in by freshman forward Enoch Hood (Norfolk, Va./Booker T. Washington), another Semenov three and a pair of free throws by Hitchens. That put the Dukes up 69-57 with five minutes to go with a 16-3 run after the Pirates took the lead.
Hampton managed to cut the margin down to five at 70-65 with 1:19 remaining on a David Bruce tipped rebound. After a JMU missed shot, the Pirates had a chance to cut the deficit closer but a Davis steal led to a free throw by junior guard Alioune Diouf (Powder Springs, Ga./McEachern). On the miss of the second attempt, freshman guard Arman Marks (Louisville, Ky./Eastern) tipped the rebound to Hood, who hit two more free throws after being fouled as the Dukes finished the win 74-67.
Davis posted his sixth 20-point game of the season and filled the score sheet with 21 points, five boards, three assists and JMU's first five-steal performance in nearly two years. Semenov pulled out of a personal 8-for-30 shooting slump over his previous five games to go 6-for-8 with 17 points while hitting all three attempts from the arc. Hitchens added 15 as the trio combined for 72 percent of JMU's offense.
David Bruce came off the bench for Hampton to record a double-double with 14 points and 12 rebounds while going 7-for-13 from the floor. Pellum, Hampton's leading scorer for the season, had 12 points and a trio of three-pointers, but was limited to three points and 12 minutes in the second half after collecting his fourth foul with 17 minutes to go. Mike Tuitt had team highs of 15 points and five assists.
JMU shot 45 percent from the field to break a shooting slump of 37 percent over the last five and a half games. Madison topped 70 points in regulation for the first time since an 86-69 win over Rider in the fourth game of the season on Nov. 25.
The Dukes limited the Pirates to 40 percent shooting overall and 33 percent from the arc (8-for-24). JMU improved to 6-1 when it leads its opponent in rebounds after posting a 39-36 advantage.
After scoring the first two baskets of the game, Hampton grabbed control and used a 10-2 run to take a lead as large as nine at 24-15 midway through the first half. JMU responded with a 9-1 run, capped by a Semenov three-pointer and Davis steal and slam to pull within one.
The Pirates connected on consecutive treys by Christopher Tolson and Wesley Dunning to move back ahead by seven at 31-24 with seven minutes to go. However, this time the Dukes held the Pirates scoreless for four minutes to record a 15-0 run, which included threes by Hitchens and Marks.
A jumper by Semenov capped the run with the Dukes leading 39-31 with 3:26 to go. The Dukes added another jumper by Marks and a three by Hitchens to take a 44-35 lead into the locker room, their most points scored in a half since a Dec. 22 win at George Washington.
Hitchens led all players with 13 points in the half while Davis added 13 and Semenov had nine. JMU shot 52 percent in the half and hit five of its 10 attempts from the arc. Pellum led Hampton with nine points.
JMU returns to Colonial Athletic Association action when it travels to Richmond on Thursday for a 6 p.m. game at VCU to be broadcast nationally on ESPNU.
NOTES: It was the first meeting since 1996 for the in-state opponents separated by just 200 miles as JMU improved to 3-0 in the all-time series... in addition to its overall shooting slump over the last five and a half games, Madison was 3-for-33 from the three-point line in its previous two games before hitting 7-of-18 (39 percent) against Hampton... the Dukes topped six made threes for the 13th time in 15 games... Semenov went 3-for-3 from the arc for the second time this season (The Citadel, Dec. 19)... coming off career highs of 11 points and 10 rebounds against Northeastern, Hood made the first start of his young career and posted six points and eight boards in 29 minutes... Davis played 40 minutes to go the distance for the first time in his collegiate career... with 15 games in the books, JMU will be looking for its first win this year against a team with a winning record on the date of the game the Dukes travel to VCU (11-5) Thursday and host George Mason (12-4) Saturday.