JMU roundup: Dukes top Hofstra

Daily Staff Reports – sports@nvdaily.com

HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. – James Madison women’s basketball used a 12-2 run in the first half to break a 21-all tie and pushed its lead to as many as 27 points en route to a 77-50 victory at Hofstra on Sunday afternoon at Mack Sports Complex.

JMU moved to 13-4 on the year and 3-0 in Colonial Athletic Association play while Hofstra dropped to 6-10, 1-4 in CAA play.

JMU and Hofstra traded buckets through much of the first half, tallying seven tie games and six lead changes to end up in a 21-all tie. The Dukes used a 12-2 run, however, to notch the final lead change of the game. The run over a span of 2:41 gave JMU a 10-point lead of 33-23 at the 1:48 mark of the first half. JMU headed into the locker room with a 35-27 advantage over the Pride. The Dukes outrebounded the Pride 27-17 in the first 20 minutes of play.

In the second half, the Dukes continued the onslaught as they outscored the Pride 42-23 in the final 20 minutes of the game. Overall, JMU shot 41.8 percent from the floor, including a 47.8-percent mark (11-23) in the second half. The Dukes finished with a 27-15 advantage in points off turnovers and a 20-12 advantage in second-chance points.

Sophomore Precious Hall led four Dukes in double figures with 20 points, her second straight 20-plus point-performance, including an 11-of-11 showing at the free-throw line. She also turned in six rebounds, four assists and three steals in 37 minutes of action.

Hofstra was led by Anma Onyeuku’s 17 points. As a team, the Pride shot 30.4 percent from the floor, including 20.0 percent from beyond the arc. The Dukes held the Pride to just 11.1-percent shooting (1-9) from 3-point range in the second half.

Senior Kirby Burkholder dropped in 18 points on Sunday with four made 3-pointers and added nine rebounds and two steals. She moved into 15th all-time on the JMU career-scoring list with 1,307 career points, passing Vicki Harris’ 1,294 points. She needs just four points for sole possession of 14th all-time. The senior also took sole possession of 14th place on the all-time free-throw chart from Harris, knocking down four against Hofstra for 257 career-made free-throws.

Redshirt sophomore Jazmon Gwathmey scored 15 points with six rebounds and accounted for four of JMU’s 12 blocks. Redshirt junior Lauren Okafor and redshirt senior Nikki Newman and each blocked three shots at Hofstra. Newman had three steals and three rebounds with a career-high nine assists, moving her into 13th all-time at JMU with 273 career assists as she passed Christina Lee’s 272.

Rounding out the double-digit scorers for JMU was junior Toia Giggetts with 13 points, including her first career 3-pointer. She scored from beyond the arc off an inbounds pass from Newman at the 8:47 mark of the second half, putting the Dukes in front by 18 (55-37).

Overall, JMU notched 15 steals, the most they have grabbed since Dec. 31, 2012 against Georgia Southern (15). The Dukes’ 12 blocks made it the second straight game with at least 10 blocks. Hofstra narrowly edged out JMU in the lane with a 24-22 advantage off points in the paint.

The Dukes return to the JMU Convocation Center on Thursday, Jan. 23 for a 7 p.m. tip against Drexel. The Dragons are the only other remaining unbeaten squad in CAA play (3-0).

Men’s basketball

WILLIAMSBURG – James Madison couldn’t overcome an early barrage of 3-pointers by William & Mary despite a career night offensively by sophomore guard Andre Nation, falling to the Tribe 78-56 in a Colonial Athletic Association men’s basketball game Saturday afternoon at Kaplan Arena.

Nation scored a career-high 25 points in the loss, surpassing his previous high of 24 against Indiana in last year’s NCAA Tournament. He stuffed the stat sheet, adding five rebounds, five steals and four assists. It wasn’t enough as the Dukes dropped to 6-13 overall and 1-4 in the CAA

Marcus Thornton led a balanced attack by W&M with 20 points. A trio of Tribe players reached double-figures as Tim Rusthoven finished with 17 points and Brandon Britt had 12, helping the team improve to 10-6 overall and 2-1 in the conference.

W&M entered the game as the top 3-point shooting team in the conference in both percentage and 3-pointers made and it put that shooting ability on display against JMU. The Tribe finished 10-of-20 from beyond the arc, including a 7-of-12 mark in the first half on its way to a 42-24 lead.

The two teams traded runs early on, but it was JMU that initially jumped out ahead. Following two buckets inside by W&M, the Dukes went on a 10-0 run. Nation fueled the run with eight points on two 3-pointers and a fastbreak dunk, while sophomore guard Ron Curry chipped in with a layup.

The Tribe responded with nine straight points over a span of five minutes to take a 13-10 lead. Four different players contributed during that stretch, including Julian Boatner with a 3-pointer.

A layup by Nation and a free throw by freshman Jackson Kent tied the game at 13, but the Tribe outscored the Dukes 29-11 to close out the half.

W&M cooled off in the second half, shooting 44 percent, compared to the 71 percent clip it shot in the first half. JMU improved its shooting from 33 percent in the first half to 50 percent in the second and made a few different runs to cut into the deficit.

A three-point play by Nation with 7:55 to play and a 3-pointer by Curry got the Dukes within 14 (61-47), but that’s as close as they would get as Britt and Thornton hit treys during an 8-0 run to put the Tribe back up 22 (69-47).

Sophomore guard Ron Curry scored 14 points for the Dukes, reaching double-digits in scoring for the 11th time this season. Graduate student Andrey Semenov tallied eight points.

W&M finished with a 35-24 advantage on the boards, led by nine rebounds from Terry Tarpey. Nation’s five boards led the Dukes.

The Dukes played without their leading scorer, sophomore guard Charles Cooke, for the entire second half. Cooke, who has scored in double-figures 15 times this season, left with an injury with just under five minutes remaining in the first half.

JMU played on the road for the 15th time this season. It will play at home for just the fifth time when it hosts College of Charleston in a CAA matchup on Saturday, Jan. 25, at 2 p.m.

Women’s tennis

WILLIAMSBURG, Va., Jan. 18, 2014 – James Madison women’s tennis opened its spring slate with a 6-1 loss at No. 40 William & Mary on Saturday afternoon at the McCormick-Nagelson Tennis Center.

JMU started the spring dual season 0-1 overall and 0-1 in Colonial Athletic Association play. William & Mary moved to 2-2 this spring with a 1-0 mark in league action after going 2-0 in its Saturday doubleheader.

Freshman Rachel Nelson tallied the lone Dukes’ point of the day with a two-set win (6-0, 6-2) over Jackie Lee in the No. 6 singles position. It was her first career win in a dual match.

The Tribe scored early as they went 2-1 in doubles action to secure the point and take a 1-0 lead. At the No. 1 position, Leeza Nemchinov and Maria Belaya earned the 8-2 victory over junior Taylor Pinchoff and freshman Alex Huie. An 8-4 loss in the No. 2 position by sophomore Cara Wirth and redshirt junior Sarah Khan to Nabila Farah and Melanie Roy scored the point for the Tribe.

Seniors Jacqueline Palmucci and Ruxandra Andriescu finished off doubles action with an 8-3 win over Julia Casselbury and Sydney Smith in the No. 3 position.

In singles play, Andriescu and freshman Emily Bradshaw each took their matches the full three sets. Andriescu, in the No. 5 position, took the early lead over Smith with a 6-2 win in set one. Smith, however, battled back for two straight set victories (6-0, 6-3) to secure the point for the Tribe.

Bradshaw fell behind Roy early at the No.3 singles position after a tightly contested first set went to a tiebreaker, falling in a 7-6 favor to Roy. Bradshaw evened the match with a solid 6-1 victory in set two, but Roy picked up the 6-0 win in a decisive set three for the William & Mary point.

At the No. 4 singles position, Palmucci fell in two sets (6-4, 7-5) to Casselbury. Pinchoff, in the No. 1 position, dropped a two-set decision (6-2, 6-2) to Nemchinov, who is ranked 89th in the nation. Huie, in the No. 2 position, was defeated 6-2, 6-1 by Farah.

The Dukes take a three-week break from competition before traveling to Annapolis, Md. for a match at Navy on Feb. 8. Action begins at 3 p.m. at the Brigade Sports Complex.