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HARRISONBURG -- The James Madison women's basketball team outscored North Carolina A&T 30-8 in the final 12:29 to pull away to a 77-64 win in the first round of the Women's National Invitation Tournament on Thursday night at the JMU Convocation Center.
The Dukes earned a second-round game against North Carolina State and will host the Wolfpack in a 2 p.m. contest on Sunday. N.C. State topped Richmond 60-55 to advance to the second round.
JMU improved to 23-10, while North Carolina A&T finished its season at 22-10.
JMU junior guard Kirby Burkholderscored a team-high 22 points and grabbed a game-high 14 rebounds, and senior guard Tarik Hislop added 17 points and a season-high seven assists. Freshman guard Angela Mickens came off the bench for career highs of 10 points, five rebounds and five steals. Freshman guard Precious Hall also finished with 10 points.
Game scoring honors went to Aggies redshirt junior guard Amber Calvin, who scored 25 points and tied the Convocation Center and JMU opponent records with a career-high seven 3-pointers. She hit 7-of-9 from 3-point range and 8-of-16 overall from the field.
Senior guard/forward JaQuayla Berry was the only other Aggie in double figures with12 points. Sophomore guard Adriana Nazario finished with a game-high eight assists.
The Aggies used a 17-6 scoring run to build an 18-10 lead with 10:58 to play in the opening half. N.C. A&T led by as many as 13, 37-24, with 2:02 on the clock, before JMU was able to cut the lead to seven, 38-31, at the half.
Calvin nailed all three of her 3-point attempts in the opening half, when the Aggies hit 5-of-6 from behind the arc.
JMU opened the second half by outscoring the Aggies 10-4 to close within one, 42-41, on a Burkholder 3-pointer at 17:28. Hall scored five points and Hislop had two points and an assist during the stretch.
Then a 9-5 N.C. A&T run, including a four-point play by Calvin on a 3-pointer and a free throw and a 3-pointer by Berry, pushed the Aggies' lead to 56-47 at 12:49.
However, the Dukes held the Aggies scoreless over the next six minutes while scoring 12 points. Mickens scored six of those 12, including the last two after blocking a 3-point attempt by Calvin, then racing down the court for a contested layup that gave JMU a 59-56 advantage with 6:48 to play.
After a 3-pointer by Calvin at 6:05 tied the game at 59, JMU outscored the Aggies 18-3 in the final 5:25 to secure the win. Burkholder scored seven and Hislop added four points in that span.