JMU women’s basketball tops William and Mary, 65-43

jmu-wmJames Madison women’s basketball earned a 65-43 victory at William & Mary on Sunday afternoon at Kaplan Arena to move to 4-0 against Colonial Athletic Association foes this season, wrapping up a four-game in eight-day stretch to start league play.

JMU improved to 13-2 overall on the year while William & Mary dropped to 6-9 overall with a 0-4 record against CAA opponents. The Dukes have won their last four games while the Tribe has dropped their last six games.

Redshirt-senior center Lauren Okafor (Hamden, Conn./Hopkins School (Providence)) tallied a game-high 16 points, 6-of-8 from the field and 4-of-5 from the free-throw line, alongside a game-high nine rebounds and a career-high six blocks. Senior forward Toia Giggetts (Norfolk, Va./Lake Taylor) and junior guard Precious Hall (Tallahassee, Fla./Maclay School) each chipped in 12 points to round out the double-digit scoring for JMU.

Redshirt-junior guard Jazmon Gwathmey (Bealeton, Va./Liberty H.S.) tied a season-high eight rebounds as the Dukes held a 45-29 advantage in rebounds, including a 13-8 edge in offensive boards for a 10-4 lead in second-chance points.

William & Mary was led by Jazmon Boone’s 13 points, the only Tribe player in double figures. The Tribe shot 33.9 percent from the floor while JMU scored on 45.8 percent of its shots.

The Dukes held the Tribe to a 15.4 percent clip from beyond the arc for the game and did not allow a 3-pointer in the second half (0-of-6). JMU, however, shot 31.3 percent (5-of-16) from long range for the game.

After JMU scored the first bucket of the game, William & Mary used an 8-2 run to take a four-point lead with 15:28 to play in the first half. An ensuing 5-0 JMU run, powered by a Perez 3-pointer off a fast break and a Gwathmey layup off a Giggetts steal, it was a back-and-forth affair for the next 6:19 with 12 lead changes as neither team led by more than one point .

William & Mary took a brief two-point advantage (19-17) at the 8:41 mark of the first stanza, but the Dukes settled in for a 7-0 run and a five-point lead (24-19) at the third media timeout (7:17, 1H). Each side added five over the next 2:22before Madison posted an 8-0 run for its first double-digit lead of the afternoon (37-24, 2:28 1H).

The Tribe made it a single-digit JMU lead, bridging the halves with a 6-2 run. An 8-0 run by the Dukes, including two fast break 3-pointers by Hall, pushed their lead to double digits for good (47-30, 15:30 2H) as William & Mary never got closer than 14 points the rest of the game.

Madison scored 38 of its 65 points in the paint while limiting William & Mary to just 18 points in the paint. The Dukes also committed 13 steals, led by a career-high tying five from junior point guard Angela Mickens (Staunton, Va./Robert E. Lee), and made 15 points off a fast break. The Tribe committed 10 steals and notched six points off fast break opportunities.

JMU heads to CAA newcomer Elon on Thursday, January 15, for a 7 p.m. tip-off. The game wraps up a three-game road swing for the Dukes.