JMU roundup: Dukes clinch top seed in CAA women’s tournament

Daily Staff Reports – sports@nvdaily.com

NEWARK, Del. — James Madison University’s women’s basketball team clinched the No. 1 seed in next month’s Colonial Athletic Association tournament with a 72-61 victory over Delaware at the Bob Carpenter Center on Thursday night.

The Dukes pushed their win streak to 12 games to remain undefeated in CAA play (12-0, 22-4) while the Blue Hens’ six-game win-streak was snapped as they fell to 9-4 in conference action and 17-7 overall. It is the first time since 2011 JMU has won two games over Delaware in the same season (2-0, including the CAA Championship game).

Senior guard Kirby Burkholder led the Dukes with 19 points and 14 rebounds, her eighth double-double of the season. She moved into fourth on JMU’s career rebounds chart, up to 837 boards as a Duke, and into a tie for fourth all-time in double-figure rebound games (28).

Junior forward Toia Giggetts scored 16 points against the Blue Hens. Her 17th straight double-digit scoring performance moved her into a tie for ninth-longest in JMU history. Redshirt sophomore guard Jazmon Gwathmey rounded out the Dukes’ double-digit scorers with 10 points. She also notched two blocks on the evening, giving her sole possession of ninth place on JMU’s career blocks list with 82 denials overall.

Delaware was led by Kelsey Buchanan who posted a game-high 20 points and four blocks. Joy Caracciolo joined her in double figures with 12 points while Hannah Jardine grabbed a team-high eight rebounds. Millbrook High School graduate Courtni Green chipped in eight points and four steals for Delaware.

After back-and-forth play left the game knotted at 11-all, the Dukes used a 7-0 run to push their lead out to 18-11 with just under 13 minutes to play in the first half. Delaware pulled to within three off a layup by Buchanan at the 8:50 mark (24-21), but JMU used an 11-0 run to take a 14 point lead, their largest of the first half. The Blue Hens sank the final two field goals of the first half, and the Dukes carried a 10-point lead (37-27) into the locker room.

Delaware cut the lead to seven points off a Buchanan jumper just over three minutes into the second stanza. The Dukes, however, responded with a 16-6 run to push their advantage to 17 points (55-38) with 11:53 remaining, their largest lead of the game. The Blue Hens closed the gap to as few as 10 points over the final 7:46, but key JMU stops down the stretch secured the 11-point victory.

JMU shot 38.6 percent from the floor, including 46.9 percent in the first half. Delaware shot 35.2 percent from the field, but the Dukes held them without a 3-pointer (0-6) for the duration of the game.

The Dukes head home for a Sunday-afternoon face-off with Hofstra at 2 p.m. They need one more win to secure sole possession of the CAA regular season championship.

Women’s lacrosse

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — James Madison lacrosse was unable to overcome No. 7/4 Florida on Thursday evening, falling 21-8 to the Gators.

The Dukes dropped to 1-1 on the season in their first road game while the Gators improved to 3-1 this spring.

Junior attacker Stephanie Finley led the JMU offense with three goals off five shots, all on goal. Junior midfielder Ali Curwin was second with two goals off four shots while senior attacker Emily Rhoads notched the Dukes’ two assists on the day.

Florida was led by Shannon Gilroy and Carly Ross, each with a game-high five goals. Gilroy also had a game-high three assists to finish the day with eight points. Devon Schneider added in three goals while Sammi Burgess tallied two assists.

Cara Canington earned the win in goal (3-1) for the Gators, committing two saves and allowing three goals in 30 minutes of action. Junior goalkeeper Schylar Healy took the loss (1-1), committing four saves and allowing 19 goals over 50:30 in goal. Freshman Maura Grady saw the first in-goal action of her career, allowing two goals over nine minutes and 30 seconds of work.

The Dukes continue their time in Florida as they swing up to Jacksonville for a 10:30 a.m. match with the Dolphins on Saturday, Feb. 22.