JMU women top American, 65-49

jmu logoThe James Madison women’s basketball team (4-6) took an early lead and pulled away to a 65-49 win over American (5-5) Friday evening at the JMU Convocation Center.

The Dukes got their first win after dropping three straight contests, while American saw its winning streak end at three games.

Freshman guard Precious Hall (Tallahassee, Fla./Maclay), in her first game as a starter, scored a career-high 16 points.  She shared game scoring honors with senior guard Tarik Hislop (Silver Spring, Md./Paint Branch).  Junior guard Kirby Burkholder (Bridgewater, Va./Turner Ashby) finished with her second double-double of the season with 15 points and a game-high 11 rebounds.

American was led sophomore forward Arron Zimmerman (Wayside, N.J./Saint John Vianney), who scored 13 points on 5-for-5 shooting, including 3-for-3 from 3-point range.  Freshman forward Michelle Holmes (Toledo, Ohio/Notre Dame Academy) added 10 points, and senior center Stephanie Anya (Germantown, Md./Holy Cross) was AU’s leading rebounder with 10.

The Dukes used an 11-2 run to pull out to a 24-13 lead with 8:32 left in the opening half.  Redshirt freshman guard Jazmon Gwathmey (Bealeton, Va./Liberty) scored the first and last basket of the stretch.

The Eagles, however, ran off 10 unanswered points, the first eight by Zimmerman, to close the margin to one, 24-23, with 4:32 left.

JMU scored the final five points of the half on a 3-pointer by Hall and a jumper by Hislop, and the Dukes opened the second half by outscoring AU 8-1.  Hislop scored on a 15-foot jumper and Hall and Burkholder each knocked down 3’s to put JMU up 37-24 at 18:09.

AU got no closer than 11 (37-26 at 17:13) and JMU extended its lead to as many as 19 on four occasions.

JMU held a 53-34 rebounding advantage.

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