Virginia men’s basketball beats James Madison in home opener, 65-34

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA – NOVEMBER 10: Chase Coleman #12 of the Virginia Cavaliers shoots over Zach Jacobs #11 of the James Madison Dukes. (Photo by Ryan M. Kelly/Getty Images)

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (VirginiaSports.com) – Virginia (2-0) outscored JMU (1-1) 34-11 in the second half to cruise to a 65-34 win in the home opener at John Paul Jones Arena on Sunday evening.

Two players finished with double-doubles for the second game in a row as Mamadi Diakite (Conakry, Guinea, Africa) had a career-high 19 points and 13 rebounds along with two blocked shots.Braxton Key (Charlotte, N.C.) had 14 points and 10 boards. Jay Huff (Durham, N.C.) added 11 points and seven rebounds.

Every player that could play in the game appeared for the Cavaliers. UVA shot 38 percent from the field and held JMU to 23 percent shooting. Virginia outrebounded the Dukes, 50-36, and had 22 second chance points. UVA scored 40 points in the paint to six for JMU.

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA – NOVEMBER 10: Justin McKoy #4 of the Virginia Cavaliers blocks a shot by Julien Wooden #22 of the James Madison Dukes. (Photo by Ryan M. Kelly/Getty Images)

HOW IT HAPPENED
Diakite opened the game with a three. UVA had an 11-3 run to begin the game. JMU closed the gap and took a 17-16 lead with 7:26 to go in the first half. Virginia closed the half on a 15-6 run to lead 31-23 at the break.

Key scored the first seven points of the second half. Virginia had a 20-3 run to lead 51-26 at the 11:55 mark. UVA held JMU scoreless for 6:12 in that span and allowed just four field goals in the second half.

NOTES
• UVA has held its first two opponents to fewer than 40 points for the first time in the shot clock era and since 1943-44 season
• JMU’s 11 second-half points were fewest for an opponent at JPJ (Georgia Tech, 12, in 2015)
• Diakite had his first career double-double with 19 points and 13 rebounds
• Key had his first career double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds
• Kody Stattmann made his first career start
• Justin McKoy had four points for his first collegiate points

On this year’s defense:
“It’s too small of a sample size. I know we have to play good defense, as I told them before the game, it’s not always going to be pretty but it has to be gritty,” UVA head coach Tony Bennett said. “There’re so many possessions during the game and the defense has to hold you in there when shots aren’t falling or you’re not as adept offensively. It’s about the ability to challenge shots. I knew we do have size, and JMU was a different challenge than Syracuse because they played four guards and they spread it out. They’re a heavy three-point shooting team and I think our length at times bothered them. It was solid defensively but it’s too early to tell.”

Virginia hosts Columbia on Saturday, Nov. 16 at noon at John Paul Jones Arena.

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