YoYo-less JMU Dukes Fall to UNCW
JMU fell to UNCW by the score of 87-76 in the Convo tonight. Losses are never super fun, but it was actually a pretty entertaining game. We’re still in January, but UNCW is looking like one of the best teams in recent CAA history. And in their first game since learning Yohanny Dalembert was done for the season, the Dukes played tough and at least made the Seahawks earn it. We’re not big “moral victory” guys, but JMU looked far better than the 6-15 team it was entering the game.
The fact is JMU played well enough to beat most CAA teams tonight. UNCW is just really good. The Seahawks have shooters galore and they move the ball very well. And they seem to have a real knack for hitting a few shots in a row, every time their opponent threatens to go on a run. They certainly did that tonight. It went from close game to double digits so quickly, it was almost hard to notice. Jackson Kent lead all scorers with 23 points. He was one of 5 Dukes, and 11 players overall, who reached double-figures. Here are three random numbers on the game.
That’s the number of turnovers for JMU. UNCW had 11. There weren’t many people who expected JMU to win the turnover battle tonight. The Dukes had the CAA’s worst turnover margin coming into the game. They’d averaged over 15 turnovers a game. UNCW on the other hand, had the CAA’s best turnover margin, forcing 16 a contest. Pretty much everyone expected UNCW’s pressing defense to rattle JMU and lead to easy points for the Seahawks. It didn’t. JMU had one of its strongest games of the season, ball control wise.
That’s how many more points in the paint JMU had than UNCW. Yes. Playing without YoYo, JMU scored 38 points in the paint versus only 28 for UNCW. It really was a game that defied expectations in a lot of ways. Everyone expected JMU to struggle against UNCW’s press, turn the ball over, and suffer down low with YoYo out. Instead JMU won the turnover battle and poured in points down low. It kind of makes you wonder how they lost by double digits. Which brings us to the next number.
That’s how many more three pointers UNCW attempted than JMU. Glancing at the box score and the standard shooting percentages, it looks like a pretty even contest. JMU managed to hit 41% from three, while UNCW was even better at 46%. Overall, both squads had great shooting performances. UNCW shot 55% from the field, while JMU hit 51%.
The difference was that UNCW launched 35 from behind the arc, compared to JMU’s 17. Dig a little deeper into the shooting numbers to compute the effective field goal percentage (FG + .5 * 3P)/FGA), and we see some serious separation. UNCW had a ridiculous 69% (nice) EFG tonight compared to JMU’s 57%. That’s a good night for JMU, but an outstandingly efficient night for UNCW. The teams appeared to be trading baskets all night. They were, sort of. It was really more a case of the Dukes hitting twos, and then UNCW matching with threes. That’s how it looked like a back and forth game, but suddenly became a double digit loss for the Dukes.