JMU roundup: Dukes advance to tourney final

Daily Staff Reports – sports@nvdaily.com

HARRISONBURG – James Madison women’s basketball used a 22-4 run over the opening 10 minutes of play to defeat Ohio 56-33 on day one of the JMU Invitational at the JMU Convocation Center Sunday afternoon.

The Dukes improved to 9-3 on the season. They face Norfolk State in the championship game on Monday, Dec. 30 at 2:30 p.m. The Bobcats dropped to 4-7 on the year and play UMBC in the consolation game on Monday at noon.

JMU scored the first five points of the game off a quick layup by junior Toia Giggetts followed by a 3-pointer from redshirt sophomore Jazmon Gwathmey. Lexie Baldwin’s 3-pointer at the 17:11 mark of the first half was Ohio’s lone field goal of the first 13:21 of play and spanned a 16-1 run by the Dukes as they went up 22-4.

After the JMU run, the Bobcats closed the first half on an 11-4 run and trailed by as few as 10 points (28-18) with 16:51 remaining in the second half. The Dukes, however, utilized a 14-4 to take a 42-22 lead with 10:09 left to play. They pushed their lead to as many as 23 points three times over the final quarter of the game.

Senior Kirby Burkholder led all players with 18 points and 14 rebounds, her fifth double-double of the season, to eclipse 1,200-career points (1,209) and move into sole possession of the sixth-most double-figure rebound games in JMU history (25). Giggetts finished with 11 points, making 5-of-7 shots from the field. JMU sank 34.5 percent (18-48) of its shots from the field and 33.3 percent (4-12) from 3-point range.

Quiera Lampkins led the Bobcats with 11 points while Baldwin led on the glass, pulling in seven rebounds. As a team, Ohio shot 17.2 percent (10-58) from the field, including 15.0 percent (3-20) from beyond the arc.

Redshirt junior Lauren Okafor blocked four shots on Sunday afternoon, just one shy of her career high. Gwathmey swatted away three, and redshirt senior Nikki Newman tallied two blocks.

On the boards, JMU outrebounded Ohio 52-35, including 42-23 on the defensive end. Ohio won the offensive-glass battle 12-10.

The Dukes face the Spartans in their second-to-last non-conference game of the season tomorrow at 2:30 p.m. at the JMU Convocation Center.