JMU roundup: Dukes top Hofstra in women’s basketball

Daily Staff Reports – sports@nvdaily.com

HARRISONBURG – Senior guard Kirby Burkholder collected her second consecutive double-double with 28 points and 11 rebounds to lead the James Madison women’s basketball team to a 78-47 win over Hofstra at the Convocation Center in Harrisonburg on Sunday.

With the win, JMU clinched the outright CAA Regular Championship with three games left to play. The Dukes have won 13 consecutive games to improve to 23-4 overall and 13-0 in the league. Hofstra dropped to 11-13 overall and 6-7 in conference action.

This is the second time the Dukes have won the CAA regular season title under head coach Kenny Brooks and the first since 2010-11.

JMU wraps up a six-game home set on Tuesday with a 4 p.m. game against Maryland.

For Burkholder, it was her ninth double-double of the season and the 23rd of her career. She added two blocks, two steals and an assist in 36 minutes on the afternoon. Sophomore guard Precious Hall chipped in 11 points, nine rebounds and three assists while junior forward Toia Giggetts had 11 points, three rebounds and two assists. For Giggetts it was her 18th consecutive double-digit performance.

Redshirt senior forward Nikki Newman tied her career-high with five blocks to lead JMU to 10 blocks as a team. The fifth-year Duke also led all players with six assists, against one turnover, scored nine points, grabbed eight rebounds and had two steals.

The Pride was paced by Annie Payton with 10 points, but she shot just 3-for-13 from the field, including 0-for-6 from 3-point range. Krystal Luciano contributed seven points, eight rebounds, four assists and three steals while Alexis Carter had eight points and six rebounds.

The Dukes never trailed in the game, including scoring seven of the game’s first eight points. The Pride responded with a 7-1 run to even the game at 8-8 with 15:01 to play in the first half, but saw Madison hold them without a bucket for the next nine minutes, two seconds as JMU built a 32-17 advantage. Overall, JMU held the Pride to 16.7-percent (5-for-30) shooting in the opening stanza as it carried a 42-28 lead into the break.

The Dukes’ lead hung between 15-20 points for the first 10 minutes of the second half before they embarked on a 15-1 run over nearly six minutes of game time to push its lead out to 29. The HU deficit never got below 25 points the remainder of the game as JMU went on to win by 31.

For the game, JMU shot 35.8-percent from the field, including hitting 8 of its 27 (29.6-percent) from 3-point range. Hofstra shot 24.1-percent from the field and 14.3-percent from three. The Dukes pulled in 57 rebounds to the Pride’s 39, including a 19-8 Madison advantage on the offensive boards.

JMU outscored Hofstra 26-18 in the paint and 10-4 in fast break points. The Dukes’ 19 offensive boards led to a 14-7 advantage in second-chance points. JMU dished out 17 assists on its 24 made buckets while holding Hofstra to eight assists on 14 buckets.

JMU returns to action on Thursday, Feb. 27 in Charleston, S.C., as it takes on the College of Charleston in an 11:30 a.m. game at TD Arena.

HARRISONBURG – Binghamton struck for six runs in the first three innings to grab a 6-1 lead and pulled away again when James Madison pulled within a run to earn a four-game series split with a 9-7 baseball win on Sunday afternoon at Eagle Field at Veterans Memorial Park.

With the win, BU left Harrisonburg with a 3-4 mark on the season while JMU fell to 4-4.

Mike Kaufman earned the victory with three innings of relief allowing three runs. Casey Wenzel was even more effective, limiting JMU to one hit for the sixth through eighth innings without a run scored. Junior starter Patrick Toohers took the loss after allowing six runs, four earned, on eight hits in three innings as the starter.

Senior right fielder Tyler Gregory had two hits with a double, triple and three RBIs as JMU’s only batter with multiple hits. Freshman second baseman Josh Wyatt singled, walked and was hit twice while scoring a pair of runs. Junior left fielder Chad Carroll singled, walked twice, scored twice, drove in a run and stole a pair of bases.

Binghamton spread out its 10 hits among eight of its nine batters in the lineup. Third baseman David Schanz had a pair of hits, a hit by pitch and three RBIs. Right fielder Zach Blanden also had two hits.

For the fourth straight game in the series, the Bearcats broke on top with a pair of runs in the first with an RBI groundout by second baseman Daniel Nevares and a score on a throwing error on a stolen base attempt.

After the Bearcats stranded the bases loaded in the second, the Dukes got one run back in the bottom of the frame when Carroll walked, stole second, stole third and scored on shortstop Kyle Weston’s infield single.

Binghamton kept up the early onslaught in the third, putting the first three batters on with a pair of singles and an error. Catcher Eddie Posavec drove in a run with a hit by pitch and Schanz followed with a two-run single to center. The Bearcats added a fourth run with a fielder’s choice groundout by center fielder Bill Bereszniewicz.

The Dukes answered Binghamton’s four runs with three of their own in the third. JMU’s first four batters all reached via two walks and two hit batters, but a pair of pickoffs at first base kept the Dukes off the board. With two outs and runners on the corners, Carroll singled to right to plate the first run. A balk scored the second JMU run of the frame and Gregory doubled deep to left to cap the three-run rally.

Madison pulled within a run in the fourth as junior center fielder Kevin Husum beat out a tapper to third to drive in a run before the Dukes left the bases loaded. Binghamton earned that run back in the sixth with a sacrifice fly by left fielder Jake Thomas to make it 7-5. BU took advantage of a pair of JMU errors in the seventh to add two runs to its lead and make it 9-5.

The Dukes put their first two runners on in the ninth, and both came around to score on Gregory’s two-out triple to left center. However, reliever Mike Bunal recovered to strike out Weston to end the game.

CLEARWATER – Sophomore pitcher Jailyn Ford twirled her third complete game of the weekend and smacked two doubles at the plate to lead the James Madison softball team to a 3-1 win over DePaul in the final game of the NFCA Leadoff Classic in Clearwater, Fla., Sunday.

JMU finished the five-game tournament with a 3-2 record and improved to 8-7 on the season. DePaul closed out the tournament with a 4-1 record and is 11-4 on the season.

Ford earned All-Tournament recognitions for her work over the weekend after going 2-1 with a 1.33 ERA in 21 innings pitched. The 2013 CAA Rookie of the Year struck out 23 and walked only four while compiling three complete games, including a shutout in the tournament. She also hit .286 at the plate with a pair of doubles and two runs scored.

Ford’s win ran her record to 5-3 on the season as she limited the Blue Demons to one run on five hits. The left-hander struck out six and did not walk a batter in seven innings of work.

Kirsten Verdun took the loss for DePaul despite allowing only one earned run in the game. She gave up three runs total on six hits and two walks while striking out seven in seven innings of work.

The Dukes’ offense was powered by Ford and sophomore second baseman Hannah Hayes with a pair of hits each. Ford went 2-for-4 with two doubles and a run scored while Hayes had two singles and a walk in four trips to the plate. Sophomore catcher Erica Field added a base knock, a run and a RBI on the day for Madison.

Designated player Nicole Pihl homered among two hits for the Blue Demons. She finished the game 2-for-3 with the homer, a run and a RBI. Right fielder Megan Coronado went 1-for-2 with a triple while shortstop Allie Braden was 1-for-3 with a single.

Pihl’s solo homer with one out in the bottom of the second opened the scoring in the game. The freshman jumped on a Ford offering and smacked it out over the fence in center for her third home run of the season.

The Dukes fought back to take the lead in the top of the sixth inning. Hayes ignited the rally with a one out bunt single and moved to third on a double to left by Ford. Field followed by grounding into a fielder’s choice, but Hayes outraced the throw home to score the tying run. Ford gave the Dukes the lead by scoring on a DePaul fielding error before a second fielder’s choice, this time off the bat of senior first baseman Catherine Clavin, chased home Field for the 3-1 lead.

DePaul got a lead-off single to start the bottom of the seventh inning, bringing the tying run to the plate, but Ford retired the next three batters she faced to finish off the win.

JMU returns to Harrisonburg next weekend to host the JMU Invitational at Veterans Memorial Park. Dartmouth, Kent State, Fairfield and Penn State join the Dukes for the three-day tournament starting Friday, Feb. 28.

Women’s lacrosse

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Junior attacker Stephanie Finley scored the game-winning goal just 10 seconds into thesecond overtime period, securing the 16-15 victory for James Madison lacrosse at Jacksonville on Saturday afternoon.

JMU improved to 2-1 on the season with the win credited to junior goalkeeper Schylar Healy. Jacksonville fell to 1-3 on the year with the loss going to Asia Moore.

After the Dolphins used a 3-0 run to take a 15-14 lead over the Dukes with 3:30 left in regulation, senior attacker Emily Rhoads found senior attacker Amy Roguski 40 seconds later to tie the game at 15-all. Jacksonville was able to get a last-second shot off a free position, but the attempt went high.

The first two 3-minute overtime sections came up empty, sending the game into a sudden-victory double-overtime period. Finley secured the draw control and made her way downfield, firing off her fourth goal of the day to clinch the 16-15 win.

Finley led the offense with six points on Saturday off four goals and two assists. Roguski tied her with a game-high four goals while junior midfielder Ali Curwin and Rhoads tied a game-high two assists.

Sophomore midfielder Jaci Gordon added three goals against the Dolphins, all coming in the first half, and senior attacker Julianne Giles posted two goals and an assist.

The Dolphins were led by Morgan Derner with four goals, one assist and Taylor McCord with two goals, four assists.

JMU won 18 of the 35 draws, including the opening draw of the third overtime period. The Dukes also won the turnover battle, causing 11 of the Dolphins’ 15 turnovers while only committing nine turnovers, with seven of those caused by Jacksonville.

JMU jumped out to a 3-1 lead in the opening moments of the first half, but a 3-0 run by Jacksonville gave the Dolphins the 4-3 lead 6:38 into the game. The Dukes responded with their own 3-0 run to retake the lead (6-4), but Jacksonville once again tied the game at 6-6. A 3-0 run by JMU put the Dukes back in front 9-6, but the Dolphins closed the half on another 3-0 run to tie the game 9-9 heading into the locker room.

After a 9-9 tie at halftime, the Dukes put together a 3-0 run to open the second period to take the 12-9 lead at 18:07. Rhoads found Roguski, who tallied her third goal of the day, to break the tie with 23:19 remaining. Just over two minutes later, Finley converted a free position to put the score at 11-9, and Curwin followed her with a solo goal to push the advantage to three goals.

Jacksonville pulled back to within two at the 15:23 mark as Kelsey Wiglesworth picked up the pass from Taylor Mccord. A minute later, Finley caused a turnover by Wiglesworth to regain possession for the Dukes, and Giles used the opportunity to score her second goal of the day and give JMU the 13-10 lead with 14:11 to go.

The Dolphins cut the lead to one after two straight goals, prompting JMU to call a timeout with 8:05 left on the clock. Just 40 seconds later, Finley found the back of the net for her third tally of the game and gave the Dukes a 14-12 lead with 7:25 to play. Jacksonville then poured in three straight goals to take its first lead of the second half before Madison tied the game with less than three minutes left in regulation.

JMU returns home for a two-game home stand beginning on March 1. The Dukes host Loyola (Md.) on Saturday at 1 p.m. at University Park.