Dukes fall to No. 1 North Carolina

CHAPEL HILL, NC — James Madison’s men’s basketball threatened multiple times in the second half Sunday afternoon but couldn’t get over a cold day of shooting against the nation’s top-ranked team as the Dukes dropped an 80-64 decision to 1-ranked North Carolina at the Dean E .Smith Center.

The Dukes (4-1) saw four players score in double figures and grabbed 20 more points off the bench, but UNC (4-0) capitalized on a 50-34 rebound advantage and a 24-69 (34.8%) Shooting performance of JMU to stay perfect in 2022-23.

Graduated Guard Takal Molson led the Dukes, hitting three threes on his way to 19 points and adding six boards and three steals in 32 minutes with just one turnover. graduate forward Meze Offurum added 12 points and eight rebounds to go with a team-high three assists.

Richmond native Armando Bacot controlled the game for UNC and amassed 19 points while catching 23 rebounds — including eight on offense. RJ Davis added 21 points and five assists for the Tar Heels.

second grader Julien Holz and seniors Vado Morse added 11 and 10 points for the JMU, respectively.

HOW IT HAPPENED
First half

UNC jumped out quickly, hitting six of his first nine shots – including a pair of threes – as the tar heels put JMU on hole 17-9 at just 6:06. After a threesome dating Alonzo Sule cut the lead to five but UNC dropped 10 points in a row to make it 27-12 after 10 minutes.

Teams went back and forth in the closing minutes until a 9-2 UNC run took the lead up to 45-24 before a dunk came down Justin Amadi closed the half at 45-26.

Second half

The Dukes took the lead immediately after the break, with Offurum scoring the first four points of the half before baskets from Molson and Morse extended the run to 12-2 to cut the lead to 47-38.

From there, the two teams continued to battle back and forth as the Dukes hit single digits four times, but JMU came no closer than an eight-point deficit with 9-18 to go. UNC extended things up to 19 towards the end of the half but never surpassed the 20 point barrier.

FAST STRIKES

– Sunday marked the fifth straight game in which at least four Dukes hit double digits.
– The Dukes limited UNC to just 35 second-half points, the lowest total for a JMU opponent since Valley Forge in the season opener.

NEXT

The Dukes will travel further south for the holiday week, heading to Savannah, Georgia on Friday, November 25 at 11 a.m. to face the Georgia Coast before their encounter against South Dakota State on Saturday and Sunday as part of the and Valparaiso compete in Hostilo Community Classics. Both games will be tilted at noon.

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