JMU roundup: Dukes stay perfect in CAA

Daily Staff Reports – sports@nvdaily.com

HARRISONBURG – James Madison women’s basketball scored the game’s first 21 points and held Towson without a basket until the 8:53 mark of the first half on its way to a dominating 82-40 win at the Convocation Center Sunday afternoon.

JMU won its ninth-straight to improve to 19-4 overall and 9-0 in the Colonial Athletic Association. Towson saw its two-game winning streak halted and fell to 11-12 overall and 5-5 in the league.

Junior forward Toia Giggetts poured in a career-high 26 points on 11-for-17 shooting from the field. She added nine rebounds, a block and a steal in 27 minutes of action. Senior guard Kirby Burkholder had a double-double with 16 points and 12 rebounds to go with four assists, three steals and a block while redshirt sophomore guard Jazmon Gwathmey had 14 points, five rebounds and three steals.

Towson was paced by guard Tanisha McTiller with 19 points and five rebounds, but the senior also turned the ball over nine times. Forward LaTorri Hines-Allen contributed 11 points and six rebounds and Alaysia Mitchell chipped in four points and six boards.

The Dukes opened the game on a 21-0 run and scored 25 of the game’s first 26 points. Towson’s first point came on a free throw by McTiller with 12 minutes remaining in the half. McTiller added the team’s first basket at the 8:53 mark to cut the JMU lead to 25-3. The Dukes’ lead never shrunk below 21 points the remainder of the game as they followed TU’s first made basket with another 15-2 run. The Tigers did not reach double digits until the 1:01 mark of the opening period on a layup by Mitchell.

James Madison played suffocating first-half defense, holding Towson to 15-percent shooting (4-for-26). The Dukes forced their opponent into 12 turnovers and blocked five shots.

With her 16 points, Burkholder moved into 10th on JMU’s all-time scoring list with 1,421 points. She passed Sydney Beasley’s (1983-85, 86-88) mark of 1,412 points. Gwathmey moved into 10th on the program’s block list with her 77th while redshirt senior forward Nikki Newman passed Dawn Evans (2007-11) for 10th on the all-time steals list.

Newman finished the game with six points, seven assists, four rebounds, two blocks and a steal. She was part of a crew that forced Towson into 22 turnovers while Madison committed seven. The Dukes outscored the Tigers 27-4 off turnovers and 34-22 in the paint. They also outrebounded their opponent 48-42, including a 17-13 edge on the offensive end, leading to a 15-7 lead in second-chance points.

For the game, JMU shot 40.3-percent from the field and held TU to 28.6-percent. Towson did not make a three-point attempt against the CAA’s top defense against the 3-point shot, going 0-for-6 from the field. The Dukes hit on seven of their 21 attempts from downtown and were good for 17 of 22 (77.3-percent) free throws.

Sunday’s win was Head Coach Kenny Brooks’ 150th career win at the Convocation Center as he improved to 150-28 (.843) there all-time. The game was played in front of a season-high 4,589 fans.

JMU concludes its three-game home stand next Thursday, as it welcomes UNCW to the Convocation Center for a 7 p.m. contest.

Women’s tennis
BALTIMORE, Md. – James Madison women’s tennis fell 5-2 at UMBC on Sunday morning after the Retrievers jumped out to a 4-0 lead over the Dukes. JMU is now 1-2 on the season while UMBC improved to 2-3, snapping a three-match losing streak.

After the Dukes picked up a quick win at the No. 1 doubles position from junior Taylor Pinchoff and freshman Alex Huie, the Retrievers won the next two doubles matches to take the opening point. UMBC won the first three singles matches to conclude, picking up points from the first-third positions to secure a 4-0 lead and the win.

Pinchoff and Huie defeated UMBC’s Olga Baikulova and Isabel Aldunate 6-3 in the leadoff doubles slot. In singles play, freshman Rachel Nelson and senior Ruxandra Andriescu each posted points for the Dukes.

Nelson sailed out to a 6-4, 6-2 victory over Isabel Aldunate at the No. 4 singles position, marking her third straight singles victory in dual competition.

Andriescu ran out to a 1-0 lead over Madlena Kurasz at the No. 5 singles position with a 6-4 win in the first set. Kurasz, however, took a tough second set 7-5 to even the singles match at 1-all. Andriescu secured the point for the Dukes after dispatching Kurasz 10-4 in the decisive third set.

In doubles play, redshirt junior Sarah Khan and sophomore Cara Wirth were unable to overcome Mariami Dolashvili and Josefin Stange-Jonsson at the No. 2 position as the duo fell 6-4. Andriescu and fellow senior Jacqueline Palmucci battled to a 7-6(6) loss to UMBC’s Kim Berghaus and Kurasz at the No. 3 doubles position.

Palmucci saw her singles match go the distance as well, coming back from a one-set deficit (6-4) to Stange-Jonsson at the No. 6 position to knot the match at 1-1 after a 6-0 win in set two. After a fierce competition in set three, Stange-Jonsson claimed the 13-11 set win and tallied a fifth point for the Retrievers.

The initial singles point for UMBC went to Baikulova after she won in two sets (6-3, 6-4) over Pinchoff at the No. 1 singles position.

Huie and fellow freshman Emily Bradshaw each saw their singles matches go a full three sets. After jumping out to a one-set lead at the No. 2 singles position, Huie dropped her next two sets (7-6(5), 10-4) to Berghaus, who claimed the third UMBC point of the day. Dolashvili tallied the decisive fourth point for the Retrievers with a three-set win (6-4, 4-6, 10-4) over Bradshaw.

JMU heads to Fairfax, on Saturday, Feb. 15 as the Dukes face former Colonial Athletic Association rival George Mason in a 5 p.m. match.

ATHENS, Ga. – In a game that feature six hits, all of them singles, James Madison softball dropped a 2-0 decision to Georgia in the final game of the Red and Black Showcase in Athens, Ga., Sunday.

JMU lost its second straight to fall to 1-4 on the opening weekend of play. Georgia completed its home tournament at 5-0.

Sophomore pitcher Jailyn Ford tossed her second complete-game of the weekend in the loss, falling to 1-2. She limited the Bulldogs to two runs, one earned, on four hits and two walks while striking out five.

Chelsea Wilkinson picked up her second win in as many games against the Dukes with a shutout effort. She improved to 4-0 after holding Madison to two hits. The right-hander struck out eight and did not walk a batter.

The Dukes’ two hits came from Ford and sophomore second baseman Hannah Hayes. Hayes went 1-for-2 with a single while Ford was 1-for-3 at the plate.

Second baseman Kaylee Williams paced the Georgia offense. She went 1-for-1 with a run scored and a walk. Third baseman Alex Hugo walked and drove in a run in two at-bats while first baseman Geri Ann Glasco was 1-for-3 with a single.

After each team was held hitless through two innings, UGA got on the board in the bottom of the third. Williams started the rally with a one-out single. She moved to second on a bunt single by center fielder Niaja Griffin and scored on a two-base sacrifice fly by Hugo.

Georgia added to its lead in the sixth inning by taking advantage of a pair of JMU errors. Right fielder Kaylee Puailoa reached on a one-out single to left field and moved to second on a JMU fielding error. A second error, off the bat of designated player Tina Iosefa allowed Puailoa to race into home for the 2-0 lead.

The Dukes brought the tying run to the plate in the top of the seventh after Ford beat out a two-out infield single, but Wilkinson avoided further trouble by getting senior designated player Catherine Clavin to strikeout to end the game.

JMU is back in action next weekend as it travels to Orlando, Fla., to play in the UCF Holiday Inn Classic. Madison squares off with Florida A&M, Middle Tennessee State, Illinois-Chicago, UCF and Delaware in the three-day, five-game tournament.


Men’s basketball
PHILADELPHIA, Pa. – Sixth-year senior guard Chris Fouch scored 26 points, including 19 in the second half as Drexel used a 21-4 second-half charge to claim a 78-60 Colonial Athletic Association men’s basketball win over James Madison on Saturday afternoon at the Daskalakis Athletic Center.

DU evened its CAA mark at 5-5 while improving to 13-10 overall while JMU fell to 8-16 overall and 3-7 in the CAA.

Sophomore guards Charles Cooke and Ron Curry led JMU with 18 and 17 points, respectively. Cooke was 4-for-5 from the floor, including making both three-point attempts, to go with 8-for-10 from the line and six rebounds.

Fouch was 8-for-15 shooting for Drexel, including 5-for-10 from the arc. Fellow guard Frantz Massenat added 16 points for the Dragons while Rodney Williams posted a double-double with 14 points, 10 rebounds and four blocks.

It was a one-point game at the half, 36-35 Drexel, and still a one-point lead for the Dragons at 39-38 through the first minute and a half of the second period. However, Dartaye Ruffin’s tip in was followed by a layup in traffic and a 3-pointer by Massenat as Drexel built its largest lead of the game to that point, 46-38, three minutes into the half.

The Dragons pushed the run to 12-0, capped by a layup from Williams. The Dukes briefly halted the charge with buckets by Cooke and Curry but the first of Fouch’s four second-half 3-pointers started a 7-0 spurt for Drexel to leave the Dukes staring at a 60-44 deficit with 8:32 remaining. JMU got no closer than 12 points while converting just two field goals the rest of the way as Drexel went on for the 18-point victory.

Madison had just five field goals in the second half while earning 15 of their points on 20 free throw attempts. The Dukes shot 5-for-20 in the period after 48 percent in the first half. JMU also missed its final eight three-point attempts after a 6-for-10 start to the game.

Drexel shot better than 50 percent in each half to finish 54.7 percent for the game and 7-for-15 (47 percent) from the arc. The Dragons held a 36-24 advantage on the glass, including 24-14 over the final 23 minutes of play.

Drexel claimed the early advantage in the first half, building a lead as large as seven points at 19-12 before the Dukes made their move. Back-to-back 3-pointers from graduate forward Andrey Semenov and freshman guard Jackson Kent quickly cut the deficit to 19-18. Madison finally tied the score at 23-23 on another Semenov three and took the lead for the first time since the opening basket on a Curry turnaround jumper in the lane.

With the score tied at 26-26, the Dukes built their largest lead of the game as Curry connected on a left corner 3-pointer and Semenov converted a three-point play in the lane for a 32-26 lead with 3:09 on the clock.

However, Drexel finished the last three minutes on a 10-3 swing. Tavon Allen’s jumper started a 10-1 run. Massenat added a pair of layups, the latter in transition to put the Dragons up 36-33 with 22 seconds left. Then with the clock winding down, Cooke penetrated and drew a foul with 1.9 seconds remaining. He hit both to pull Madison within a point at 36-35 at the break.

Cooke led JMU with 11 points in the half, followed by Semenov with nine and Curry with eight. Massenat had 11 in the half for Drexel followed by Williams with nine. Both teams shot well in the half with Drexel at 52 percent and JMU at 48 percent, including 6-for-12 from the arc.

JMU has a tight turnaround to a 7 p.m. home game on Monday against Hofstra. The contest will be televised on Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic and Philadelphia as well as SportsNet New York (SNY).