JMU roundup: Davis drafted in D-League

Daily Staff Reports – sports@nvdaily.com

HARRISONBURG – Former guard A.J. Davis, who was instrumental in James Madison’s 2013 men’s basketball championship season, was selected in the third round (39th overall) by the Sioux Falls Skyforce in Friday night’s NBA D-League Draft.

The Skyforce are entering their first season as a single affiliation partner of the Miami Heat. While the Heat controls the basketball operations of the organization, any NBA team could sign Davis from the Sioux Falls roster. He reports to camp on Nov. 7.

Once placed on the roster, Davis will be the first JMU player on a D-League roster since Abdullai Jalloh played two years in 2009-10 and 2010-11. He averaged 12.3 points per game in his second season

Davis elevated his performance in the final third of the 2012-13 season to help guide JMU to its first CAA Championship in 19 years. Beginning with 27 points in a home win over William and Mary, he averaged 20 points per game in the season’s final 12 games, including a career-best 36 points in a road win over the Tribe in early March.

In the CAA Championship, Davis poured in 20 points in the first round against William and Mary, added 16 points in a semifinal win over Delaware and capped the weekend with 26 points in the title bout vs. Northeastern to claim CAA Most Outstanding Player honors. He played an integral role in JMU picking up its first league title since 1994 in its first title-game appearance since 1997.

Davis went on to post 20 points in a NCAA First Four win over LIU Brooklyn, JMU’s first NCAA win in 30 years dating back to 1983. In addition to his CAA MVP honor, he was named Honorable Mention All-State by the Richmond Times-Dispatch and Sixth Man of the Year in the CAA by CollegeHoopsDaily.com.

After a slow start, Davis overtook senior forward Rayshawn Goins (Cleveland, Ohio/Glenville) in the season’s final game to claim leading scorer honors. He finished 17th in the CAA for scoring (12.1 per game) along with seventh in field goal percentage (.481), 11th in steals (1.3 per game), fourth in three-point percentage (.372) and fifth in made three-pointers per game (2.0).

Davis finished with 937 points in two seasons at JMU after leading the Dukes as a junior with 510 points and adding 427 this year. He also had 305 points in two seasons at Wyoming to give him 1,242 for his four-year collegiate career.

Former JMU guard Darren White was a second-round pick in Friday night’s draft, selected 25th overall by the Erie BayHawks out of Campbell University.

HARRISONBURG – Freshman outside hitters Janey Goodman and Kate Whitmire combined for 21 kills on .386 hitting to lead the James Madison volleyball team to a 3-0 Colonial Athletic Association win over Hofstra at Sinclair Gymnasium/Godwin Hall, Friday evening.

JMU won by set scores of 25-23, 28-26, 25-18 to improve to 10-13 on the season and 5-5 in the CAA. Hofstra dropped to 15-10 and 5-4 in the league with the loss.

Goodman finished with a team-high 11 kills and limited herself to three errors to finish with a .381 attack percentage. The left-hander added three blocks and a dig while Whitmire connected on 10 kills against one error for a .391 attack percentage. Junior middle blocker Lizzy Briones hit .304 on the night with nine kills, adding six digs and five blocks. Freshman middle blocker Hanna Radhi tied Briones for a match high with five blocks and contributed four kills on .333 hitting.

JMU hit .278 as a team, finishing with 42 kills against 12 errors in 108 attack attempts. Redshirt junior setter Kristi Richardson supplied 23 assists, five digs, two kills and two blocks off the bench. Sophomore setter Sarah Patterson supplied 12 assists, five digs, a kill, a block and a service ace while sophomore defensive specialist Jaclyn Placha had a match-high three service aces and seven digs. Sophomore libero MacKenzie Kleespies led all players with 12 digs.

Hofstra was led by outside hitter Kelsie Wills with 12 kills and seven digs while middle blockers Nuria Lopes da Silva and outside hitter Emily Burke had 10 kills apiece. Lopes da Silva led the Pride with four blocks and setters Kaitlyn Krause and Hannah Klemm combined for 42 assists, 13 digs, four kills and a block. Libero Sophia Black led her team with 10 digs.

JMU outhit Hofstra .278 to .195, forcing the Pride into 22 attack errors. Ten of those attack errors came on Madison blocks as the Dukes finished with a 10-5 advantage in blocks and a 5-0 lead in service aces.

Neither team led by more than four points in set one as the Dukes and Pride traded the lead four times and had 12 tie scores. The Dukes built the set’s biggest lead late as a kill and two blocks by Briones supplied a 3-0 run and put them ahead 23-19. After a timeout, HU embarked on a 4-1 run to cut the deficit to 24-23, but Whitmire’s fourth kill put the set away in Madison’s favor.

It was another nail biter in set two, featuring 16 tie scores and five lead changes. This time neither team was able to build a larger lead than three points. Trailing 23-20, the Dukes won the next four points to reach the set’s first set point. The Pride fought off two attempts at set point before winning consecutive points to reach their own opportunity to end things with a 26-25 lead. The Dukes won the next three points on a service error, a block and a Pride attack error to head into the break with a 2-0 lead. Whitmire hit .417 in the set, knocking down five of her 12 attack attempts without an error.

Madison trailed 15-13 in set three before rattling off 11 of the next 12 points to grab a 24-16 lead. HU won the next two points before sophomore outside hitter Meghan Niski put the match away with her fifth kill of the night. Goodman connected on six kills in eight attack attempts while Radhi had three of her five blocks in the fifth.

JMU returns to the court on Sunday as it hosts Northeastern for a noon match in Sinclair Gymnasium on Senior Day.

Swimming and Diving
HARRISONBURG – James Madison swimming and diving won seven of the 10 events on day one of the Colonial Athletic Association Pod Meet as it leads the four-team meet being held this weekend in Savage Natatorium in Harrisonburg.

Joining the Dukes in the Pod Meet are teams from Delaware, UNCW and William & Mary. JMU leads Delaware 113-54, UNCW 107-60 and William & Mary 105-62. William holds leads over the other two opponents with a 98.50-68.50 edge over UD and a 98-69 advantage over UNCW. UD control a slim advantage over UNCW in the final dual, leading 86-81.

Madison opened the meet by setting a Savage Natatorium pool record in the first event of the day. The Dukes’ relay team of juniors Melissa Criscuolo, Susanne Gingher and Sin Hye Won and sophomore Kacy Edsall completed the 400-yard medley relay in a time of 3:50.13 to break a record that stood since 2010.

JMU followed that with individual wins in each of the next two events. Junior Aimee Hooper highlighted a first and second-place finish in the 1,650-yard freestyle as she breezed by the competition in a time of 17:24.50 while freshman Claire Adkins claimed second at 17:32.82. It was senior Kelsey Holmgaard that placed first in the next event, the 200-yard freestyle. Holmgaard completed the sprint in a time of 1:52.26.

The next Madison win came in the 100-yard breaststroke where Won picked up her second victory in as many weeks. She timed a 1:04.03 to slip past UNCW’s Jenson Engren who finished second at 1:04.78. Senior Shannon Dubay and sophomore Amanda Presgraves claimed fourth (1:05.63) and fifth (1:05.87) respectively.

Criscuolo and Hooper went one-two in the 200-yard butterfly with Criscuolo finishing in 2:06.85 and Hooper at 2:08.58. Gingher picked up the final individual swimming title of the day for Madison, winning the 50-yard freestyle in a time of 23.54.

In the 100-yard backstroke, the Dukes were led by sixth and seventh-place finishes by Edsall and sophomore Stephanie Clarke, respectively. Edsall touched the wall at 59.26 with Clarke right behind her at 59.30.

The final win on day one came on the diving boards as redshirt freshman Taryn McLaughlin claimed first on the three-meter board. She scored a 284.50 to lead a JMU team that claimed three of the time five spots in the event. Sophomore Carly Alexander finished third (245.95) while freshman Olivia Lehman claimed fifth (224.20).

On the one-meter board, it was again McLaughlin leading the way for the Dukes. She placed second with a score 247.20. Lehman (232.85) and Alexander (230.70) were right behind the redshirt freshman in second and third, respectively.

Day two of the CAA Pod meet gets under way at 8 a.m. Saturday from Savage Natatorium.

Field hockey
HARRISONBURG – The James Madison field hockey team powered through to a 3-1 victory over Hofstra on Friday night and improved to 2-3 in Colonial Athletic Association play (9-8 overall). Hofstra fell to 2-3 against CAA opponents (6-13 overall).

Junior Taylor Bailey put the Dukes on the board 19 minutes into play. Her deflection into the net came from sophomore Loes Stijntjes following a corner.

In the 52nd minute of the game, sophomore Adrienne le Vatte (Port Elizabeth, South Africa/Alexander Road) posted a solo goal to give JMU the 2-0 advantage. Junior Bethany Ashworth (Lititz, Pa./Warwick) scored less than 10 minutes later off a baseline pass from sophomore Kristen Reitano(Virginia Beach, Va./Princess Anne) to increase the Dukes’ lead to 3-0.

Hofstra’s Jonel Boileau scored on a rebound with 6:06 left in the game to close the gap, but the JMU defense held strong to preserve the 3-1 win. Overall, the Dukes outscored the Pride 22-13 and held a 5-4 advantage in penalty corners.

Senior Stephanie Tarafas earned the win (5-4) after seven saves and just one goal allowed. Kaitlyn De Turo picked up the loss (6-13) after allowing three goals and posting 11 saves.

The Dukes conclude the regular season on Sunday, Nov. 3, when they host Northeastern at 1 p.m. JMU will celebrate its seniors following the game.