With a 74-57 victory over UNCW on Tuesday night at the JMU Convocation Center, the James Madison women’s basketball team became the third program in the country to reach the 1,000 wins mark. JMU joins Tennessee and Louisiana Tech as the only programs to reach the elite plateau.
In addition to the 1,000 wins, senior forward Toia Giggetts (Norfolk, Va./Lake Taylor) became the 28th player in program history to score 1,000 points in her career for the purple and gold. She accomplished the feat just minutes into the contest, scoring the game’s first bucket. She finished the night with eight points and seven rebounds in 28 minutes of action.
Junior guard Precious Hall (Tallahassee, Fla./Maclay School) led the way for the Dukes with her first career double-double consisting of a game-high 25 points and a career-high 10 rebounds. Nineteen of her 25 points came in the first half. Junior guard Angela Mickens (Staunton, Va./Robert E. Lee) finished with 15 points and just two assists shy of a double-double.
Redshirt-senior center Lauren Okafor (Hampden, Conn./Hopkins School (Providence)) rounded out the double-figure scoring for the Dukes with 14 points. She also pulled down a game-high 11 rebounds to complete the double-double. Redshirt-junior guard Jazmon Gwathmey (Bealeton, Va./Liberty H.S.) chipped in four points while battling foul trouble, but pulled down a season-high eight rebounds.
Kelva Atkins guided the Seahawks with 18 points on 6-of-9 shooting while Brie Mobley chipped in 14 points. Rebekah Banks led UNCW on the boards with six rebounds. The Dukes held center Ryan Flowers in check, as the reigning Colonial Athletic Association Player of the Week only pulled down four rebounds and scored just two points. She averaged 9.3 boards per game entering Tuesday night’s contest. With a dominating performance down low, JMU outscored UNCW 34-22 in the paint.
Jumping on the Seahawks early, Madison led for the duration of the game. While the Seahawks pulled within one early (10-9), the Dukes utilized an 18-3 run to take a 16 point lead with 8:10 left to play in the first half, including a 10-0 run over a 4:34 span. JMU extended its lead to 18 at 34-16 with 6:28 to go in the half.
After that, UNCW could only cut the lead to single digits for a few moments in the second half at 55-47 with 12:47 to go, utilizing a 10-0 run and a 4:43 scoring drought by JMU. The Dukes, however, held the Seahawks scoreless for the next3:15 of play and eventually jumped out to a 20-point advantage, the largest lead of the night, with 1:42 to play off a layup by Mickens.
Building their lead to as many as 18 points in the first half, the Dukes went 17-of-35 (48.6 percent) from the floor while shooting a scorching 66.7 percent (6-of-9) from range. The mark from long distance is the highest percentage in a half since shooting 75.0 percent against Drexel on Feb. 16, 2014. Though cooling off a bit in the second half, JMU finished 29-of-71 (40.8 percent) from the floor while shooting 8-of-15 (53.3 percent) from behind the arc.
Overall, UNCW finished 5-of-11 (45.5 percent) from range, but only took one long-range shot in the second half after hitting 5-of-10 in the first half. The Seahawks finished with a 38.2 percent clip from the field on 21-of-55 shooting.
With the win, JMU moved to 11-2 overall and 2-0 in CAA play while clinching its 17th straight home victory and 13th consecutive home win over CAA opponents. With a crowd of 2,020, the Dukes played their 20th straight game in front of at least 2,000 fans. The loss dropped UNCW to 5-8 overall and 1-1 in conference action after topping William & Mary on Sunday to open CAA action on a high note.
JMU started playing women’s basketball with the 1920-21 season and has won seven conference championships and made 10 trips to the NCAA Tournament, along with many other accolades, throughout its storied history. Head CoachKenny Brooks, who is the 16th coach in program history, has totaled 292 of the 1,000 victories and sits 10 wins away from tying former coach Shelia Moorman, who coached JMU for 15 seasons from 1982 to 1997, for the most wins in program history (302).
Madison returns to action Friday night in Boston to take on Northeastern. Tip is set for 7 p.m. between the Dukes and the Huskies.