JMU women’s basketball drops Ohio, 56-33

JMU women’s basketball used a 22-4 run over the opening 10 minutes of play to defeat Ohio 56-33 on day one of the JMU Invitational at the JMU Convocation Center Sunday afternoon.

jmu logoThe Dukes improved to 9-3 on the season.  They face Norfolk State in the championship game on Monday, Dec. 30 at 2:30 p.m.  The Bobcats dropped to 4-7 on the year and play UMBC in the consolation game on Monday at noon.

JMU scored the first five points of the game off a quick layup by junior Toia Giggetts (Norfolk, Va./Lake Taylor) followed by a 3-pointer from redshirt sophomore Jazmon Gwathmey (Bealeton, Va./Liberty H.S.).  Lexie Baldwin’s 3-pointer at the 17:11 mark of the first half was Ohio’s lone field goal of the first 13:21 of play and spanned a 16-1 run by the Dukes as they went up 22-4.

After the JMU run, the Bobcats closed the first half on an 11-4 run and trailed by as few as 10 points (28-18) with 16:51remaining in the second half.  The Dukes, however, utilized a 14-4 to take a 42-22 lead with 10:09 left to play.  They pushed their lead to as many as 23 points three times over the final quarter of the game.

Senior Kirby Burkholder (Bridgewater, Va./Turner Ashby) led all players with 18 points and 14 rebounds, her fifth double-double of the season, to eclipse 1,200-career points (1,209) and move into sole possession of the sixth-most double-figure rebound games in JMU history (25).  Giggetts finished with 11 points, making 5-of-7 shots from the field.  JMU sank 34.5 percent (18-48) of its shots from the field and 33.3 percent (4-12) from 3-point range.

Quiera Lampkins led the Bobcats with 11 points while Baldwin led on the glass, pulling in seven rebounds.  As a team, Ohio shot 17.2 percent (10-58) from the field, including 15.0 percent (3-20) from beyond the arc.

Redshirt junior Lauren Okafor (Hamden, Conn./Hopkins (Providence)) blocked four shots on Sunday afternoon, just one shy of her career high.  Gwathmey swatted away three, and redshirt senior Nikki Newman (Harrisonburg, Va./Turner Ashby) tallied two blocks.

On the boards, JMU outrebounded Ohio 52-35, including 42-23 on the defensive end.  Ohio won the offensive-glass battle 12-10.

The Dukes face the Spartans in their second-to-last non-conference game of the season tomorrow at 2:30 p.m. at the JMU Convocation Center.

DEC. 29 – DAY 01
Game One: Norfolk State 56, UMBC 43
Game Two: JMU 56, Ohio 33
DEC. 30 – DAY 02
Consolation: Ohio vs. UMBC, noon
Championship: JMU vs. Norfolk State, 2:30 p.m.

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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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