JMU roundup: Dukes sign two for men’s hoops

Daily Staff Report – sports@nvdaily.com

HARRISONBURG — James Madison men’s basketball coach Matt Brady on Friday announced the signing of forward Hari Hall and guard Dante Sterling to national letters of intent to join the program for the 2014-2015 season.

Hall and Sterling are both from the southeast corner of the United States and bring height and athleticism to the Dukes. Hall is a forward hailing from Jacksonville, Fla. Sterling is a shooting guard from Fayetteville, Ga.

Sterling is 6-feet, 5 inches and is an athletic wing who currently attends Fayette County High School near Atlanta. He averaged 12 points per game as a junior while leading his squad in rebounding and serving as one of the team’s more reliable long-distance shooters.

“Dante is a wing with terrific athletic ability,” Brady stated in a news release. “He plays for a high school coach in Coach [Andre] Flynn who has put a couple of guys into Division I basketball. We think it’s one of the better programs in the Atlanta area. He was on an AAU team that had three other Division I signees and he went under the radar because of the quality of players on his team. He’s a guy with terrific upside and terrific basketball ability.”

Hall is a 6-7 forward who attends Jean-Ribault High School for his senior season after attending Paxon School for Advanced Studies last year. After not playing scholastically until his junior year, Hall scored 34 points and grabbed five rebounds in his debut game for Paxon against First Coast High School last season. He finished with a season average of 24 points per game.

“Not far from where Juwann James grew up, we think that Hari is a guy who is tremendously under the radar,” Brady said. “He didn’t play any AAU basketball except for one weekend in July. We think he’s a mismatched forward. He’s a very difficult matchup at either the small forward or power forward position.”

James Madison is the defending champion of the Colonial Athletic Association under Brady. Sterling and Hall will join a squad that ranks, by average class year, as the youngest team in the country in Division I this season.

Men’s basketball
DEKALB, Ill. – Sophomore point guard Ron Curry tallied a career-high 19 points as James Madison staved off Northern Illinois’ second-half push for a 60-55 victory in the opening game of the NIU Invitational on Friday night at the NIU Convocation Center.

JMU improved to 1-1 while dropping NIU to 0-2 in the first-ever meeting between the programs.

Curry topped his previous career high of 13 points by the 13-minute mark of the second half. He finished with 19 points with nine in the first half and 10 in the second. Curry also tallied five boards and five assists.

Graduate student Andrey Semenov had his second career double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds. Sophomore guard Charles Cooke added 13 points, including 10 in the second half, and nearly posted his first career double-double with nine rebounds.

Cross country

EARLEYSVILLE — The James Madison women’s cross country team finished 15th out of 38 teams at the NCAA Division I Southeast Regional meet, a 6,000-meter race held at Panorama Farms on Friday afternoon.

Virginia and William & Mary earned the automatic bids to the NCAA championship meet with first and second-place team finishes. The Cavaliers tallied 57 points while the Tribe notched 69 points, led by the individual winner Emily Stites (19:57.5). JMU scored 469 points, ahead of conference foes North Carolina-Wilmington (28th/792 pts) and College of Charleston (31st/819 pts).

Sophomore Jenna Flickinger posted the best finish of the day for the Dukes, placing 62nd out of 265 runners with a time of 21:55.3. Freshman Tessa Mundell crossed the line a step behind her in 63rd place with a time of 21:55.6.

Freshman Meghan Malloy earned a 103rd-place finish after completing the course in 22:34.5, and freshman Lillie Brown crossed the line in 22:43.6 for a 116th-place finish.

Juniors Rachel Hagen, Kristen Landry and Tiel Westbrook picked up a 125th-place finish (22:48.8), 184th-place finish (23:33.8) and 230th-place finish (24:38.6) to round out JMU’s team scoring.

The Dukes wrap up the 2013 cross country season with a trip to New York for the Eastern College Athletic Conference championships on Nov. 23. JMU won both the team and individual titles at the ECAC championship meet in 2012.

Women’s basketball

HARRISONBURG — On Friday, James Madison women’s basketball coach Kenny Brooks announced the signing of three players to national letters of intent for the 2014-15 season. Hailee Barron, Carley Brew and Beverly “Tolulope” Ogunrinde are slated to join the Dukes next year.

“With the three young ladies we signed, we feel extremely excited about them because they all have extremely high ceilings and they’re only going to get better and better, and I think they’ll be able to contribute for us very early in their careers,” Brooks stated in a news release. “We always say we want to go out and find JMU kids, and we feel that all three young ladies are JMU kids.”

Hailee Barron hails from Burlington, Vt., where she attends Rice Memorial High School. The guard is a two-time Free Press All-First Team honoree and averaged 13 points, five assists and three steals per game during her junior year. Barron plays AAU basketball for Lone Wolf Athletics as well as plays soccer for her high school.

Carley Brew attends Wilson High School in Wyomissing, Pa., and plays for the Philadelphia Belles AAU team. A forward, she averaged 10.7 points per game last year, including a season-high 20 points scored against Reading High on Jan. 17. She is an All-Berks County All-Division I player and recently earned Parade All-America Honorable Mention.

Beverly “Tolulope” Ogunrinde is a forward from Glenn Dale, Md., and currently attends St. Vincent Pallotti High School. Last season, she earned all-conference honors from the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland after averaging 11.1 points, 11 rebounds and two blocks per game. She also averaged 15 points and 11 rebounds in 38 games played for the D.C. Heat AAU team.

The Dukes are currently in the midst of a nine-day break after starting the season 2-0 with wins over Virginia (63-46) and Liberty (67-56). JMU travels to Richmond on Nov. 21 for a 7 p.m. game with the Spiders.


BOSTON — Junior middle blocker Lizzy Briones and freshman right side Janey Goodman combined for 30 of James Madison’s 60 kills as they led JMU to a 3-2 win over Northeastern at the Cabot Center in Friday.

JMU won by set scores of 19-25, 25-15, 25-20, 23-25, 15-5 to pick up its second consecutive victory and third in its last four matches. It avenged a loss from 12 days ago against the Huskies to improve to 12-14 on the season and 7-6 in the Colonial Athletic Association. Northeastern had its three-match winning streak snapped, dropping it to 17-10 overall and 9-4 in the league.

Goodman led all players with 19 kills on .245 hitting. The left-hander limited herself to seven errors on a match-high 49 attack attempts, adding six blocks and three digs. Briones had a double-double with 11 kills and a career-best 11 blocks. She hit .286 for the match to go with three digs and two assists. Freshman middle blocker Hanna Radhi contributed eight points with six kills on .357 hitting and four blocks while fellow rookie outside hitter Kate Whitmire knocked down nine kills to go with four digs, a block and an assist.

Sophomores MacKenzie Kleespies and Meghan Niski paced the Dukes defensively, combining for 42 digs. Kleespies tied her career-high with 25 digs, supplying seven assists, three kills and a service ace. Niski had 17 digs, eight kills and a block. Redshirt junior setter Kristi Richardson paced Madison to a .253 attack percentage by handing out 41 assists. She finished with a double-double as she also contributed 14 digs, six blocks and four kills.