JMU women down Towson, 75-61

jmu logoA hot-shooting JMU women’s basketball team won its sixth straight game as the Dukes beat Towson 75-61  n Colonial Athletic Association play Thursday night at the Towson Center.

JMU improved to 13-7 overall and 7-1 in league play as the Dukes won for the 10th time in their last 11 games.  Towson dropped to 7-12 overall and 1-7 in the CAA.

The Dukes claimed sole possession of second place in the league standings behind CAA leader Delaware (8-0).  Drexel (6-2) dropped to third place after losing 53-50 at Old Dominion Thursday night.

JMU shot a season-high 53.6 percent (30-56) from the field and had five players score in double figures.  Junior guard Kirby Burkholder (Bridgewater, Va./Turner Ashby) scored a team-high 15 and had four assists, and senior guard Tarik Hislop (Silver Spring, Md./Paint Branch) scored 14 and handed out a game-high five assists.

Sophomore forward Toia Giggetts (Norfolk, Va./Lake Taylor) added 13 points and a game-tying high of 10 rebounds for her second career double-double and first of the season.  Redshirt senior forward Kanita Shepherd (Garner, N.C./Garner Magnet) added a season-high 12 points, and freshman guard Precious Hall (Tallahassee, Fla./Maclay) scored 10 points and had four assists.

Towson’s Tanisha McTiller led all players with 23 points.  Dominique Johnson scored 13, and Nyree Williams finished with 12 points and a team-high 10 rebounds.

The Dukes had a hot hand from the start, shooting 63 percent (17-27) in the first half, while the Tigers connected on only 31 percent (9-29) from the field.

It was close in the early going, with five ties and three lead changes in the first nine minutes.

But JMU scored nine unanswered points to start a 21-5 scoring run that gave the Dukes their largest first-half lead, 36-20, with 1:28 on the clock.

JMU took a 40-25 advantage into halftime, led by Burkholder with 11 points after shooting 4-of-5 from the floor, including 3-for-4 from 3-point range.  Hislop scored eight (3-5 FG, 2-2 FT) and Hall seven (3-5 FG) in the half.

The Dukes held a double-digit lead for the remainder of the game and held their largest lead, 23 points, at 55-32 with 12:33 to go.

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