JMU women’s basketball dominates Northeastern, 86-49

jmu logoSenior guard Kirby Burkholder (Bridgewater, Va./Turner Ashby) scored 30 points, including a career-high eight 3-pointers to lead the JMU women’s basketball team to an 86-49 win over Northeastern at the Cabot Center in Boston, Wednesday.

JMU finished its regular season with a 25-5 record and a 15-1 mark in the Colonial Athletic Association. Its 25 regular season wins ties for the most in school history with the 2006-07 team. Northeastern dropped to 12-17 and 6-10 in the league.

Burkholder’s 30 points came on 11-for-18 shooting and 8-for-13 from three. She added eight rebounds and an assist in 30 minutes of play. Her eight made threes give her 102 on the season, the second-highest total for a single-season in conference history. She trails only the 112 made by Dawn Evans (2007-11) in 2009-10 for the most in CAA history.

Redshirt sophomore guard Jazmon Gwathmey (Bealeton, Va./Liberty) chipped in 13 points, four rebounds, four assists and four steals while junior forward Toia Giggetts (Norfolk, Va./Lake Taylor) reached double digits for the 21st consecutive game after scoring 11. Sophomore guard Precious Hall (Tallahassee, Fla./Maclay School) was the fourth Duke in double figures with 10 points, five rebounds and five assists.

Redshirt senior forward Nikki Newman (Harrisonburg, Va./Turner Ashby) recorded three steals in the game, giving her 180 for her career. She moved into eighth in program history with the day’s effort.

Northeastern was led by Jewell Tunstull with a double-double. She scored 18 points and pulled in 10 rebounds. A’lece Mark contributed 12, two blocks and two steals while Amencie Mercier had seven points.

After heading into the break with a 40-21 advantage, JMU held Northeastern to eight points for the first 12 minutes, 39 seconds as it built a 34-point advantage. The lead never got inside 27 points the remainder of the game as the Dukes went on to win by 27.

Madison held a 42-31 advantage on the boards, including a 24-15 lead in the second half. It grabbed 15 offensive boards to outscore the Huskies 18-15 in second-chance points and enjoyed a 38-16 lead on points in the paint. The Dukes forced 18 NU turnovers while committing just 10 themselves for a 20-9 lead in points off turnovers.

Burkholder scored the Dukes’ first 14 points, hitting four of her first five attempts from 3-point range. The hot start helped JMU build a 14-7 advantage and forced Northeastern to call a timeout at the 11:42 mark. The Huskies trimmed the lead to five at 20-15 with 8:12 to play, but Madison responded with a 9-0 run to push its advantage back out to 14 points.

The Huskies got as close as 10 points following a pair of free throws by Tunstull before JMU again responded with a 9-0 run to close the half, heading into the break leading 40-21.

The Dukes are off for over a week as they’ll next take the court at the Showplace Arena in Upper Marlboro, Md., for the CAA Championship. The top-seeded Dukes will face the winner of the 8/9 game between UNCW and William & Mary at noon on Friday, March 14.

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