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Posted February 7, 2014 | comments Leave a comment

JMU roundup: Dukes roll past Northeastern

Daily Staff Report - sports@nvdaily.com

HARRISONBURG -- James Madison University women's basketball posted an 85-57 victory over Northeastern on Friday night at the JMU Convocation Center to tally its eighth-straight win and move to 8-0 in Colonial Athletic Association.

Overall, the Dukes boast an 18-4 record after winning their last six games by no fewer than 24 points. Northeastern fell to 2-7 in conference action and 8-14 overall.

Sophomore guard Precious Hall notched a career-high 26 points against the Huskies, just two games after dropping 25 points against Charleston. She added three rebounds, two assists and a steal on the night.

Senior guard Kirby Burkholder led all players with 30 points, eclipsing the 1,400-point mark for her career and moving into sole possession of 11th all-time as she passed Sarah Schreib's 1,380 career points. Her eight rebounds also moved her into sixth on the JMU-career chart (800), passing Nadine Morgan's 793 boards. Redshirt-senior forward Nikki Newman also passed Morgan with her six rebounds, moving into seventh place with 794 career rebounds.

Junior forward Toia Giggetts was the third Duke in double figures with 11 points.

Jewel Tunstull paced the Huskies with 26 points, six rebounds, a block and a steal. Tiffany Montagne also scored in double digits (11) and had two steals and two assists.

After Northeastern scored the first bucket of the game 48 seconds in, James Madison went on a 15-2 run and forced the Huskies into their first timeout. The Dukes continued their assault and pushed out to an 18-point lead at 26-8 (7:20, 1st) before the Huskies saw double digits. Madison never allowed Northeastern closer than 13 points in the final 27:20 of play (33-20, 0:35 in the first half).

The Dukes shot 46.7 percent from the floor while the Huskies scored on 40 percent of their attempts from the field. JMU, however, shot 33.3 percent from 3-point range while holding Northeastern to just 14.3 percent (2-of-14) from beyond the arc. The Huskies did not score on their first eight tries from behind the 3-point line.

The battle of the boards went to JMU as the Dukes outrebounded the Huskies 39-24, including a 20-8 advantage on offensive rebounds which led to a 21-2 advantage in second-chance points. JMU picked up 38 of its points in the paint compared to Northeastern's 20 points. Madison also converted the Huskies' 24 turnovers into 32 points while only allowing its own 16 turnovers to be converted into 16 points.

Madison returns to the JMU Convocation Center on Feb. 9 for a 3 p.m. tip-off against Towson. The game will be broadcast on Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic and Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia.

Softball

ATHENS, Ga. -- The James Madison University softball team dropped a pair of decisions as it opened its season Friday at the Red and Black Showcase.

The Dukes fell in eight innings to North Texas, 7-1, and dropped an 11-4 decision to Winthrop in the nightcap.

The Dukes fell to 0-2 to start the season. North Texas opened its season at 1-0, as did Winthrop.

In Game 2, Winthrop scored all 11 runs from the fifth inning on, including a five-run seventh inning. Winthrop had 16 hits, including multiple-hit performances from seven players.

Junior right-hander Heather Kiefer earned the loss against the Eagles, falling to 0-1 on the year. She allowed six runs on 12 hits in 5 2/3 innings of work. The right-hander struck out six and walked none. Freshman right-hander Kelly Wishard pitched the final 1 1/3 innings in relief. She gave up five runs on four hits and two walks.

Sutton Watson earned the win for the Eagles in a complete-game effort. She held Madison to four runs, two earned, on eight hits. The right-hander struck out two and walked one.

Offensively, the Dukes were paced by freshman center fielder Mimi Morris, who went 3-for-4 with a run and a RBI. Sophomore catcher Erica Field added a triple, a RBI and a run scored in three at-bats while freshman right fielder Tahli Moore went 1-for-3 with a run batted in.

In Game 1 of the day, JMU led 1-0 going into the top of the seventh inning, but gave up four home runs in the seventh and eighth innings to fall 7-1 to North Texas. The Mean Green smacked a solo shot in the seventh to force extra innings before ultimately knocking in six more runs in the eighth inning.

The Dukes return to the field on Saturday for a pair of games. At 10 a.m., they'll have a rematch against Winthrop before taking on tournament host No. 23/21 Georgia at 3 p.m.


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