Men's basketball falls in exhibition to James Madison, 98-88

Jim Connolly
Jim Connolly

HARRISONBURG, Va. – The Philadelphia University men's basketball team unofficially kicked off its 2011-12 Wednesday night with a 98-88 loss to Division I James Madison University in an exhibition contest in the Convocation Center.

Ram guard Jim Connolly stole the show with a game-high 33-point performance on 11-of-18 shooting, including 5-for-9 from three-point range. Center Temi Adebayo poured in 17 points, grabbed seven rebounds and blocked three shots. Forward Corey Fransico and guard Nick Schlitzer added 14 points each. Guard Nick Christian dished out nine assists.

Guard A.J. Davis paced the Dukes with 29 points and nine rebounds. Guard Humpty Hitchens scored 25 points. Forwards Andrey Semenov and Julius Wells contributed 10 points a piece.

Both teams shot very well from the floor with the Rams hitting 56.4 percent (31-of-55), while the Dukes connected on 53.7 percent (36-of-67) of their attempts. James Madison owned a 33-27 rebounding advantage.

The Dukes opened the second half with a 51-50 advantage. A 13-5 run to open the second stanza, including seven points from Hitchens, extended the margin to 64-55 with 14:58 left. Philadelphia fought back and got within a basket (70-68) on an Adebayo jumper at the 9:28 mark. James Madison began to pull away, grabbing a double-digit lead from the first time on a dunk by A.J. Davis to make the score 83-73 with 6:14 to play.

The schools played a back-and-forth from 20 minutes that included nine ties and five lead changes. The Rams were able to take control midway through the first half with six straight points to take a 26-17 lead. James Madison had a six-point lead (46-40) with 2:52 left in the half. Semenov gave the Dukes the lead at the break by hitting a jumper at the buzzer.

Philadelphia opens the 2011-12 season with a non-conference contest at Kutztown University Saturday, Nov. 12 at 6 p.m.