After hitting the Chicago area for the second time in a week, the James Madison men’s basketball team will travel south to face Winthrop in Rock Hill, South Carolina at 7 p.m. on Wednesday night, following the Dukes’ 81-49 loss to Valparaiso on Saturday.
Playing without starters Andrey Semenov and Ron Curry due to injury, the Dukes took the early lead, building an advantage as large as 18-12. Valpo then got momentum and went on a 36-6 run over the course of both halves. JMU was unable to get within 19 points the rest of the game, dropping its overall record to 2-4.
Sophomore guard Charles Cooke has consistently been strong throughout the season, playing the full 40 minutes against Valparaiso with 14 points, four rebounds, two assists and a career-high four steals. He has averaged 11.8 points in the rest of his games, scoring nine, 19, 10, 11 and 10 against Virginia, Northern Illinois, Milwaukee, San Jose State and Detroit, respectively. Cooke racked up a total of 14 rebounds and 13 assists in his first five games as well.
Winthrop (4-1) will face the Dukes fresh off a 96-62 win vs. NAIA opponent Virginia Intermont on Saturday evening. Freshman Keon Johnson had a career-best 20 points, while sophomore Tevin Prescott and juniors Andre Smith and James Bourne also scored in double-figures. This season marks the first time that the Eagles will have a winning record in the month of November since the 2006-2007 season.
When the two teams met at the Convocation Center last year, JMU came out on top with a 71-61 victory after going back-and-forth to maintain the lead. Rayshawn Goins posted 19 points, while Semenov added 17 of his own in his first extensive action of the season to help the Dukes pull away with the win. Smith was the top scorer of the game, contributing 26 points for Winthrop.
The Winthrop matchup will be the third game of JMU’s eight-game road trip. Following their contest against Winthrop, the Dukes will take on the Spiders of Richmond on Saturday, November 30th at 6p.m.