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James Madison (5-6) vs. San Diego (6-7)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Sunday, December 23, 6:30 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: MGM Grand Garden Arena (7,500) -- Las Vegas, Nevada. Television: None. Home Record: JMU 3-2, San Diego 5-2. Away Record: JMU 0-3, San Diego 1-4. Neutral Record: JMU 2-1, San Diego 0-1. Conference Record: JMU 0-0, San Diego 0-0. Series Record: First meeting.
GAMES NOTES: In the final game of the Vegas Holiday Hoops Classic at the MGM Grand Garden Arena the James Madison Dukes will square off with the San Diego Toreros on Sunday.
The Dukes were able to secure a 77-68 victory over San Jose State on Saturday, which was the first day of the event. James Madison has won four of its last five games with the lone loss an 83-82 overtime setback to Richmond. The Dukes are now 5-6 overall after an dismal 1-4 start to the year. James Madison begins a three-game road trip in league play against Old Dominion in its next contest.
For the second straight game San Diego lost in an 86-79 setback to Oregon State on Saturday. The consecutive losses come on the heels of a three-game winning streak for the Toreros who are now 6-7 overall. After facing Morgan State next Saturday San Diego also begins league play with a contest against Portland.
This game will be the first ever between these two programs.
After shooting at just a 25.8 percent clip in the first half, James Madison bounced back in the second half against San Jose State. The Dukes hit 78.3 percent of their shots in the second frame, including all seven from beyond the arc en route to the victory. A.J. Davis nailed four 3-pointers and had a game-high 18 points.
In comparison to the rest of the Colonial Athletic Association, James Madison has been a very efficient offensive squad ranking second in scoring (69.7 ppg) and field goal percentage (.447). That has largely been outweighed though as the team gives up 71.3 points a contest with teams shooting 45.4 percent against the Dukes. Rayshawn Goins (14.3 ppg, 7.5 rpg) is the top scoring threat normally and one of three players averaging in double figures. Devon Moore (11.0 ppg, 4.9 apg) scores well by shooting at a 55.1 percent clip and leads the CAA in assists. Andrey Semenov (11.2 ppg) missed five games this year but has been a solid option since coming back.
San Diego trailed by as many as 18 points against Oregon State but managed to whittle that score down to just two (74-72) with just under four minutes remaining. A 7-0 spurt from the Beavers over the next two minutes killed the Toreros' comeback attempt however, as they could not overcome the 59.2 percent shooting of the Beavers.
Despite the losing record, San Diego actually has a positive scoring margin (+2.7) this year, averaging 67.6 points per game and shooting a respectable 45.3 percent from the field. Johnny Dee (14.3 ppg) leads the team in scoring out of the backcourt and can really heat up from beyond the arc. Ken Rancifer (10.2 ppg, 5.0 rpg) is the only other player in double figures although Chris Manresa (9.8 ppg) has scored in double figures in four of the six games he has played.
The Dukes have been playing very well of late and come into this game with the hot hand. As long as Dee doesn't find a groove, James Madison should have the edge in a close affair.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: James Madison 68, San Diego 65
12/23 10:33:40 ET
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