Gill, Virginia stop James Madison

Brandon Lloyd, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange


CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- Redshirt sophomore and South Carolina transfer Anthony Gill scored 13 points in his Virginia debut as the No. 24 Cavaliers took down in-state opponent James Madison 61-41 on Friday night at John Paul Jones Arena.
"He did some nice things," Virginia coach Tony Bennett said about Gill. "He's very aggressive and draws fouls. You saw that he's aggressive and draws contact and plays through contact and I think you saw that from him tonight."
Gill, the 6-foot-8 forward from Charlotte, made all five of his shots in his first action with Virginia, while making three of his five free throws in 20 minutes of action.
JMU shot just 31.9 percent from the field and was stifled by Virginia's defense, which forced the Dukes into 13 turnovers. Both teams were sloppy at times, understandably seeing as it was each team's first game of the season.
"For a while there we were hanging around," JMU coach Matt Brady said. "I thought we missed some open shots that could of made the game a little tighter and put more pressure on them."
The Cavaliers' largest lead came with 10:43 left at 48-23.
After hitting shots early, the Cavaliers cooled down and finished at 41.7 percent from the field and just 4 of 19 from beyond the arc.
JMU launched 25 three-pointers, connecting on six.
"They're outstanding, as good as anybody in the country defensively," Brady said about Virginia. "It's very difficult to get any penetration against them. I thought we were doing what we wanted to defensively, we just couldn't make any shots."
Forward Tom Vodanovich led JMU with 11 points. Guard Ron Curry and guard Charles Cooke chipped in with nine points apiece.
Forward Darion Atkins came off the bench to collect 11 rebounds and help Virginia dominate on the glass. The Cavaliers outrebounded the Dukes 45-27, including 14 on the offensive board.
"We found some mismatches inside," Bennett said. "I thought we guarded better in the second half in regards to contesting shots."
Virginia jumped out to a 5-0 lead before James Madison tied it at 5 with under 19 minutes left in the first half.
An 8-0 Virginia run gave the Cavaliers a 13-5 lead just two minutes later. Virginia also had a 19-4 run that boosted their halftime lead to 32-14.
"I think the difference in the game was their size and strength," Brady said. "Tony's got a lot of guys that are going to help them this season."
Virginia senior guard Joe Harris, who led the Cavaliers in scoring last season, scored just five points on the night but pulled down seven rebounds.
James Madison (0-1) shot 20.8 percent from the field in the first 20 minutes. The Cavaliers shot 44 percent from the floor and outrebounded the Dukes 21-14.
Virginia (1-0) made just seven of its 14 free throws for the game while the Dukes took just six shots from the charity stripe, making five of them.
Guard Malcolm Brogden and Gill combined for 17 points for Virginia in the first half. Vodanovich led JMU with six first-half points. Brogden scored nine points in his first action since 2011 and played a key roll at the point guard position for Bennett.
"I thought he was very good early," Bennett said. "He knocked down some shots and made some plays. I thought he got into a little bit of trouble in the second half but all things considered it was good to have him out there."
NOTES: The teams met for the first time since Virginia defeated James Madison 90-80 in 2003. ... Senior F Andrey Semenov, who is in his sixth year with the Dukes, returned to Charlottesville, which is not far from where he played his final season of high school basketball at Blue Ridge School in Dyke, Va. ... G Malcolm Brogdon, a redshirt sophomore, played in his first game since Feb. 25, 2011, after sitting out with a foot injury. ... Virginia is back in action Tuesday night when it hosts No. 14 VCU while JMU will play Northern Illinois next Friday in the NIU Invitational.

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