Coming off its most complete performance of the season, James Madison aims for its third straight home win on Saturday evening when it hosts an old rival, the Richmond Spiders, at 7 p.m.
A team effort on Wednesday night led to a 25-point home win, 70-45, over East Tennessee State. Quick starts to each half, 21-5 in the first period and 20-4 in the second, along with turnovers contributed to the lopsided victory. JMU committed just 11 turnovers while forcing 18 by ETSU for a 25-3 advantage in points off turnovers. In the previous three games, JMU had averaged 16.3 turnovers, and opponents had scored an average of 15.7 points off those turnovers.
Senior guard A.J. Davis led JMU in scoring for the first time this season, shooting 40 percent from the field and pouring in a team-high 17 points. He came off the bench to finish with 24 minutes on the floor and connected on three three-point field goals.
Freshman guard Andre Nation continued his stat-stuffing ways on Wednesday evening, finishing the game with five rebounds, two assists, three blocks and five steals. Nation fell right in line with his season average, finishing behind only Davis with 11 points.
Senior forward Rayshawn Goins still leads the team 14.6 points and 7.9 rebounds per game. He ranks 11th and fifth in the Colonial Athletic Association for points and rebounds per game, respectively.
Nation's five steals matches a career-high he set last week against George Washington, and his five rebounds is a career high.
Inching closer to JMU history is senior guard Devon Moore, who's now just three points away from becoming the 26th career Duke with 1000 points scored. He handed out six assists Wednesday night, his third straight game with five or more assists and his sixth of the season. He needs to average 4.5 assists per game to challenge Pierre Curtis' career record (463).
The Spiders are chasing history of their own as a win on Saturday would increase their record to 8-2, matching the second-best start for the program in over 75 years.
Though JMU is one of the top scoring teams in the CAA, Richmond can score some points as well. The Spiders own three of the Atlantic 10's 20 best scorers. Senior guard Darien Brothers, reigning Atlantic 10 Player of the Week Derrick Williams and sophomore scorer Kendall Anthony all average over 13 points per game.
Richmond holds a 30-20 all-time edge in the in-state rivalry, but JMU squeezed out a 66-63 win in the last meeting in the Convocation Center over 10 years ago (2001). Richmond is 4-0 against teams from the state of Virginia and 3-0 against CAA programs this season.