Published January 08, 2015
Harrisonburg, VA (SportsNetwork.com) - Justin Anderson went 4-for-5 from 3- point range in an 18-point effort as ninth-ranked Virginia tipped off its 2014-15 season with an easy 79-51 win over James Madison.
Anthony Gill added 15 points on 6-of-8 shooting and Malcolm Brogdon had 14 for the defending ACC champion Cavaliers (1-0), who were on the mark in all facets in a solid debut.
Virginia hit on 58 percent of its field goal tries, including a 5-of-7 display from beyond the arc, while limiting the Dukes to a 28.3 percent shooting rate and forcing 18 turnovers.
"As a coach, you're always looking at what you can tweak and any time you can find it. If we had to go play that game tomorrow night, I don't know what we would do differently, because I think Virginia's that good," JMU head coach Matt Brady said afterward.
Hari Hall scored 15 points and Jackson Kent netted 14 to pace James Madison (0-1).
The Cavaliers took charge right away, beginning the game on a 14-3 run in which Gill put up nine points, and knocked down nine of their first 10 shots from the floor in building a 31-14 advantage less than 11 minutes in.
"I thought early in the game, in this environment, we had to have composure," Cavaliers head coach Tony Bennett said. "We talked about not getting sped up. Offensively, we moved the ball well, we were sharing it, getting into the lane, getting rhythm shots and got good looks early. We capitalized on some inside/outside opportunities."
JMU, which took 16 attempts from 3-point range in the opening half, got a few to fall later on to close the gap. Kent's trey with under six minutes to go in the period pulled the Dukes within 35-22, and Hall buried one 4:27 prior to the break to cut the lead to 37-27.
Virginia countered with an 11-3 surge, however, and entered the break up 51-33 after Anderson hit a 3-pointer with 10 seconds left.
The Cavaliers put the contest well out of reach midway through the second half, with Anderson and Devon Hall each draining threes during a 12-0 stretch that stretched the margin to 70-41 with nine minutes left to play.
JMU was held without a field goal for nearly 10 minutes until Joey McLean ended the lengthy drought with a 3-pointer with 4:57 remaining that trimmed the deficit to 73-51.
The Cavaliers were without starting point guard London Perrantes and forward Evan Nolte, both suspended for the opener for a violation of team rules ... Guard Andre Nation, the Dukes' returning scorer at 15.4 points per game last season, also did not play due to a suspension ... UVa improved to 10-0 all- time against JMU, which includes a 61-41 triumph in Charlottesville in the 2013-14 opener ... The Cavs were making their first visit to Harrisonburg since Dec. 1, 1982.