James Madison will look to pick up its first win of the season when it travels to DeKalb, Ill. for the annual Northern Illinois University Invitational. The tournament opens a stretch of four games in five days with a three-game weekend where the Dukes will face Northern Illinois, Milwaukee and San Jose State.
**Radio note: Saturday's Milwaukee game will be tape-delayed on the JMU/nTelos Radio Network following the completion of coverage of JMU's football game vs. Stony Brook. Sunday's men's basketball game vs. San Jose State will air in the Shenandoah Valley on WHBG 1360 AM instead of WSVA 550 AM.**
JMU lost its season opener on the road Friday against No. 24 Virginia 61-41. UVA went on a 17-1 run late in the first half to go up 32-14 at halftime. Madison was only able to bring it within 16 for the remainder of the game. The Dukes were led by freshman Tom Vodanovich, who netted 11 points with four boards and two assists.
The Dukes will open tournament play on Friday November 15 at 9 p.m. EST as they take on tournament host Northern Illinois (0-1). The Huskies are looking to bounce back from a 68-66 loss at home last Friday to Nebraska Omaha, a game in which they were led by sophomore wing Darrell Bowie, who netted 16 points for the Huskies. The Huskies were hurt by 13 missed free throws, going 15-28 from the stripe, while the Mavericks went 27-32. NIU will be looking to snap an overall losing streak of 12 games.
On Saturday at 6:30 p.m., JMU will face the Milwaukee Panthers (1-1), who picked up their first win on Monday on the road at Davidson. Milwaukee overcame an 11-point second-half deficit and took the lead with three minutes remaining in the second half before taking down the Wildcats for the second straight season. The Panthers were led by Matt Tiby, who had 21 points, in addition to Steve McWhorter, Jordan Aaron, Austin Arians and Kyle Kelm, who all scored double figures.
The final game of the tournament for the Dukes will come against San Jose State on Sunday at 3 p.m. The Dukes are 1-0 all-time against San Jose State, beating the Spartans 77-68 at home last December in Las Vegas. Dating back to last season, the Spartans are on a 15-game losing streak, with their last win coming in January against New Orleans 71-64.
After the tournament, the Dukes will be in Harrisonburg for their home opener against Detroit on Tuesday Nov. 19 at 7 p.m. The game will include a banner-raising ceremony for the 2012-13 Colonial Athletic Association championship.
All three invitational games can be viewed via internet broadcasts on the NIUTube platform for a $6.95 monthly subscription.