JMU roundup: Dukes top Philadelphia in OT in exhibition

Daily Staff Reports – sports@nvdaily.com

Andrey Semenov led James Madison to a 73-69 overtime victory in a men’s basketball exhibition game against Philadelphia University on Sunday afternoon at the Convocation Center. A graduate student, Semenov accumulated a team-high 28 points, 13 of which came during overtime play, including a game-winning three-pointer with seven seconds to go.

The Dukes began the second half trailing after a 8-0 run by Philadelphia, its second eight-point spurt to begin a half of the game. After being behind by as many as 15 points, JMU began its comeback using a 14-2 run over the course of four and a half minutes. A pair of free throws by sophomore Charles Cooke tied the game at 44 apiece.

The Dukes took their first lead after a jumper by sophomore Taylor Bessick with 7:47 remaining. Another free throw by Bessick tied the game yet again with less than a minute remaining on the clock. Philadelphia had a chance to win it at the end of regulation but couldn’t connect on a contested three.

After the 8-0 deficit from the opening tip, Bessick got the team started with a basket at the 15:33 minute mark. A Philadelphia four-basket run halfway through the first put the Dukes in a 14-point hole. The team rallied toward the end of the half, scoring 12 points in the course of six and a half minutes to narrow the score to 30-23 at the break.

Bessick was second in team scoring and had a double-double with 11 points and a team-high 13 rebounds. Freshmen Tom Vodanovich and Jackson Kent also played key roles in the game. Vodanovich went 4-5 to put up a total of nine points and acquired six rebounds during his play in the second half. Kent led the team in assists with a total of six. Cooke and point guard Ron Curry contributed 10 points apiece.

Derek Johnson led the Rams with 20 points and seven rebounds. Nick Schlitzer added 17 points, eight boards and six assists. Peter Alexis, the brother of former JMU women’s player Meredith Alexis, tallied 12 points and nine rebounds. Nick Chrstian added 12 points while accumulating 10 personal fouls as Phila. U. was allowed to play through foul trouble due to roster depth concerns.

JMU will open its 2013-14 season on Friday, Nov. 8 at 7 p.m. when the Dukes travel to No. 24 Virginia with coverage on ESPN3.

HARRISONBURG – The James Madison volleyball team battled throughout in three tight sets but lost to visiting Northeastern, 3-0 (25-23, 25-20, 27-25), Nov. 3. With the loss, the Dukes fall to 10-14 and 5-6 in the Colonial Athletic Association while the Huskies improved to 16-8 and 8-2 in the league.

The match was close throughout, with 30 ties and 12 lead changes. However, the Dukes could not find a way to close out any of the three sets. Both teams were solid defensively, with Northeastern recording 70 digs and JMU with 52, while Madison had 12 team blocks to the Huskies’ six. Northeastern did outhit the hosts .169 to .131 for the match, as JMU could manage just 31 kills in the match.

In the opening set, JMU was tied at 22 on a NU service error, but the visitors got kills from there separate players in the final four points to earn the 25-23 victory. In the second set, the two squads were tied at 16 again before NU went on a 7-1 run to take control of the set at 23-17 and eventually win it 25-20.

In the third and final set, JMU rallied back, after trailing at 18-14, with a 6-1 run to take a 20-19 lead. The two teams traded off points before Madison took a 24-23 lead on a kill by Meghan Niski and a NU attack error. However, the Huskies would get a kill from Jamie Bredahl to tie it at 24 and take the lead on Ava Cramp’s kill. A service error tied the set again at 25 before a pair of JMU attack errors ended the third set and the match.

Madison was led by freshman Hanna Radhi with eight kills while, Kelly Bacon was the top for the Huskies with 10 kills. Junior Lizzy Briones had a match-high blocks, while Kristi Richardson had 15 assists for the Dukes. Prior to the match, Madison honored senior Katie Daorai in a Senior Day ceremony.

JMU returns to action on the road, Fri.,Nov. 8, traveling to Williamsburg, Va., for a 7 p.m. match at William & Mary.

Field hockey
HARRISONBURG – The James Madison field hockey team sent its seniors out with a 2-0 shutout win over Northeastern as the Dukes celebrated Senior Day at home.

The Dukes finished the 2013 season with a 10-8 record overall and a 3-3 record against Colonial Athletic Association foes. The Huskies concluded the regular season with a 7-12 record overall and a 3-3 CAA record.

Redshirt sophomore Taylor West posted the first goal for the purple and gold, knocking a hard pass from sophomore Adrienne le Vatte into the right corner of the net.

In the final minute of the first half, sophomore Loes Stijntjes knocked in the second goal off a straight corner. Senior Amy Goldstein and junior Dana Allaband assisted on the play.

Senior goalkeeper Stephanie Tarafas earned the victory (5-4) on senior day with seven saves and no goals allowed. Northeastern’s Becky Garner tallied the loss (7-9) after 11 saves and two goals allowed.

JMU outshot Northeastern 29-8 as the Dukes limited the Huskies to just four shots each half. JMU also earned eight penalty corners to Northeastern’s four corners in the game.

Ten Dukes took a shot at the Northeastern goal during the game. Stijntjes and West tied for game-high shots with seven apiece.

Goldstein, Tarafas, and redshirt senior Sam Smiertka were all recognized after the game for their contributions to the JMU field hockey program.

Overall, the Dukes finished the 2013 season averaging 2.89 goals per game and limiting opponents to 1.67 goals per game. West led the team this season in goals (14) and points (33), the most by a single JMU player since 2010 (Amy Daniel – 19 goals, 47 points). Goldstein and Allaband were tops in assists with six each this year.

JMU will not advance to the CAA tournament next weekend. The championship field is composed of No. 1 Delaware (host, 6-0), No. 2 Drexel (4-2), No. 3 Northeastern (3-3) and No. 4 William & Mary (3-3).

With three CAA teams all finishing with 3-3 records (JMU, Northeastern, William & Mary), tiebreaker rules were used to determine which teams advance to the CAA championship tournament. Because the three teams involved all hold 1-1 records against one another, the next tiebreaker goes to records against the team atop the league standings.

As all three teams lost to Delaware, the next record to look at is against the second team in CAA standings – Drexel. Because Northeastern defeated Drexel, the Huskies were pulled from the tiebreaker scenario and the seeding procedure reverted to head-to-head competition. With William & Mary holding the 1-0 favor over JMU (Sept. 29, 4-3 loss by JMU), the Tribe advances to the CAA tournament as the No. 4 seed and the Dukes are eliminated from contention.