UNCW Unable To Halt Hot-Shooting JMU
Courtesy: UNCW Athletic Communications
HARRISONBURG, Virginia -James Madison shot 51 percent from the field and limited UNCW to just 28.4 percent shooting as it posted a 63-52 victory in Colonial Athletic Association women's basketball action Thursday at the JMU Convocation Center.
In the lone regular-season meeting between the two programs, the Dukes picked up their fifth straight victory to improve to 20-5 overall and 11-3 in league play. The victory also kept the Dukes in sole possession of second place, two games ahead of third-place Drexel and Hofstra. The Seahawks, meanwhile, slipped to 15-10 and 8-6 and they suffered their second straight setback.
Sophomore Kirby Burkholder tallied a game-high 18 points on a 6-of-8 effort from three-point range and junior Tarik Hislop chipped in 17 to power a JMU attack that converted 26-of-51 field goal attempts for the game. Senior Kiara Francisco joined the duo in double figures with 10 while junior Nikki Newman pulled down a team-high 12 rebounds as the Dukes enjoyed a 44-32 advantage on the glass.
Juniors Jessica Freeman and Karneshia Garrett and sophomore Abria Trice all scored 11 points for UNCW, who converted just 19 of its 67 attempts from the floor, including a frigid 9-of-38 effort in the first half. Garrett also grabbed a game-high 13 rebounds for her fifth double-double of the season.
JMU came storming out of the gate, knocking down seven of its first nine field goal tries, including a pair of three pointers from Burkholder, to take an early 16-4 lead. UNCW was ice-cold during the stretch, making only one of its first eight tries from the field, a backdoor layup by sophomore Alisha Andrews at the 15:19 mark.
The Dukes continued their strong shooting through the remainder of the first half, using an 11-5 spurt later in the frame to build a 14-point advantage, 31-17, before the two sides would exchange baskets over the remaining five minutes to give JMU a 33-22 advantage at the break.
UNCW scored the first five points of the second half to trim the JMU to seven, 33-27, only to see a Whitehurst jumper ignite the Dukes to a 14-2 run and their largest lead of the game, 47-29. Burkholder was once again served as the spark, converting a pair of three-point field goals, while three other players combined to tally the other eight Duke points during the pivotal sequence.
The Seahawks would counter the JMU run, tallying 14 of the next 20 points to pull within nine, 52-43, with 6:01 on the clock.
That would be as close as UNCW would get, as a three by Newman sent the Dukes on a 9-2 run that would give them a 16-point cushion with 3:36 on the clock. The Seahawks would tally seven of the last nine points to determine the 11-point margin.
Both teams return to action Sunday with CAA road contests. UNCW is at William and Mary, while JMU travels to Northeastern. Tip off for both games is set for 2 p.m.
10 - Abria Trice
24 - Jessica Freeman
40 Karneshia Garrett