HARRISONBURG, Va., Jan. 3, 2014 – The James Madison men’s basketball team is set to play its second Colonial Athletic Association game in three days when it travels to Towson on Tuesday. The game is scheduled for a 7 p.m. tipoff at SECU Arena with television coverage on Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic, Philadelphia and New England as well as Comcast/Charter Sports Southeast (CSS).
JMU faces a challenging task with the road game, squaring off with a Towson team that is 11-1 on its home court this season. The Tigers, who enter with a record of 14-8 overall and 5-2 in the CAA, won their first nine games at home before falling to Northeastern at the buzzer. TU is coming off a pair of home wins over conference foes, cruising past Hofstra 76-58 on Monday and edging Drexel 75-73 on Saturday.
Preseason Player of the Year Jerrelle Benimon is a big part of Towson’s success. The 6-8 forward averages a double-double with 18.6 points and 11.3 rebounds. He has led the Tigers in scoring 14 times this season and in rebounding 19 times, including the team’s last 13 games. He pulled down eight boards in the win over Drexel, ending his streak of 12-straight games with double-digit rebounds.
JMU is coming off an 81-79 loss at home to William & Mary on Sunday, dropping to 8-14 overall and 3-5 in the conference. The Dukes twice battled back from double-digit deficits, but couldn’t overcome a game-high 26 points by W&M guard Marcus Thornton. Graduate forward Andrey Semenov played one of his best games of the season for the Dukes, scoring a season-high 23 points while adding eight rebounds and three assists. Sophomore guards Andre Nation, Charles Cooke and Ron Curry also reached double-figures in scoring. Nation had 18 points, while Cooke and Curry chipped in with 15 and 11, respectively.
Nation’s 18 points gives him six-straight games of double-digit scoring. He averages 16.6 points per game and is one of four JMU players averaging more than 10 points. The others are Cooke (14.7), Semenov (11.5) and Curry (11.3).
Curry registered a career-high nine assists against William & Mary. As a team the Dukes had a season-high 16 assists in the game. It was their third-straight game with double-digit assists after having just six in the team’s first 19 games.
Tuesday marks the 39th meeting between JMU and Towson. The Dukes lead the all-time series 27-11, including wins in five of the last six meetings.
Following the game with Towson, JMU will stay on the road for conference play. The Dukes will travel to Philadelphia for a 2 p.m. tipoff with Drexel on Saturday.