JMU women’s basketball upsets UCLA 91-87 in OT

jmu logoJunior guard Precious Hall (Tallahassee, Fla./Maclay School) led five players in double figures as James Madison was able to erase a 14-point second-half deficit and defeat 23rd-ranked UCLA 91-87 in overtime on Friday afternoon at the JMU Convocation Center.

This is the first win over a ranked opponent for the Dukes since JMU defeated #14/15 Virginia 75-73 on the road on Dec. 6, 2009.  It was also the first overtime victory since Nov. 22, 2012 when JMU defeated Green Bay 89-86.

Hall led the Dukes (1-0) with a team-best 25 points and converted all 12 free-throw attempts in the season-opening triumph. Redshirt-senior center Lauren Okafor (Hamden, Conn./Hopkins School) registered a double-double with 16 points and a career-high 16 rebounds while senior forward Toia Giggetts (Norfolk, Va./Lake Taylor) matched Okafor with 16 points for her 27th consecutive game in double figures.

The Bruins held a 75-73 lead with eight seconds left in regulation, but Hall knocked down two free throws to tie the game and send it into overtime.  She then hit two more free throws at the end of the overtime period to extend the Dukes’ lead to 91-87 with six seconds remaining.

The Dukes capitalized on 14 second-half turnovers by UCLA to come all the way back from a 42-28 deficit. Junior guard Angela Mickens (Staunton, Va./Robert E. Lee) and junior forward Destiny Jones (Miramar, Fla./Archbishop McCarthy) each had two steals in the half, including Jones’ diving steal on a full court press that helped cut the lead to 54-51.

Jones and redshirt-junior guard Jazmon Gwathmey (Bealeton, Va./Liberty) rounded out the scoring for the Dukes with 10 and 15 points respectively.

JMU struggled from three-point range, shooting 20 percent (4-20), but thrived from the free-throw line, knocking down 33 of their 44 attempts.

UCLA had five players foul out of the game, including starters Kacy Swain, Luiana Livulo, Kari Korver and Nirra Fields as well as Lajahna Drummer off the bench.  UCLA had 36 team fouls compared to JMU’s 28.

Fields led the Bruins in scoring with 26 points.  Guard junior Jordin Canada recorded a double-double with 15 points and 10 reb

JMU returns to action Sunday at 2 p.m. when it hosts St. Bonaventure at the Convo.

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