JMU women rally from 13 down to shock UVa.

The key to playing the JMU women’s basketball team is figuring out how to control senior point guard Dawn Evans. UVa. never seemed to get a handle on how to do that Monday night.

Evans scored a Convocation Center record 42 points, with 13 in the final four minutes and a most important three with 34.2 seconds left that gave the Dukes its first lead since the opening minute of the game, and JMU held on to win, 82-80, in front of a small but raucous group at the Convo.

Virginia (7-5) led by as many as 13 in the second half and led 78-68 with three minutes to go before storming back with a 10-0 run to tie it at 78 on an Evans jumper with 1:23 left. Ariana Moorer and Ataira Franklin each hit 1-of-2 free throws to give Virginia an 80-78 lead with 45 seconds left.

Evans’ three, off a high-screen-and-roll that Virginia could not stop in the final minutes, made it 81-80 James Madison. Jalissa Taylor made 1-of-2 at the line to extend the lead to 82-80. UVa. had two chances in the final nine seconds, but Chelsea Shine missed a jumper from the left corner with nine seconds left, and Lexie Gerson missed from inside the lane at the buzzer to end it.

Shine led five Cavs in double figures with 19 points.

JMU (6-5) also got double-figure outputs from Tarik Hislop (12 points) and Lauren Jimenez (10 points).

Story by Chris Graham. Chris can be reached at

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Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, by Jerry Ratcliffe and Chris Graham, is available for $25.

The book, with additional reporting by Zach Pereles, Scott Ratcliffe and Scott German, will take you from the aftermath of the stunning first-round loss to UMBC in 2018, and how coach Tony Bennett and his team used that loss as the source of strength, through to the ACC regular-season championship, the run to the Final Four, and the thrilling overtime win over Texas Tech to win the 2019 national title, the first in school history.
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