Top-seeded James Madison overpowered eighth-seeded Towson 64-49 in the quarterfinal round of the Colonial Athletic Association tournament on Friday, earning a trip to the Saturday’s semifinals at the Show Place Arena in Upper Marlboro, Md.
JMU improved to 27-3 and will face either fourth-seeded UNCW or fifth-seeded Elon at 1 p.m. tomorrow. Towson fell to 11-21 overall and was eliminated from the tournament.
The Dukes led wire-to-wire and bolted out to a 16-2 lead in the first 4:36. JMU started with a 7-0 run to open play that was capped by a steal and drive by junior point guard Angela Mickens, causing Towson to call its first timeout of the game. While the Tigers scored on the ensuing possession, the Dukes put together another 7-0 run compliments of a 5-of-5 headed into the first media timeout.
Towson pulled within a single possession after its own 11-2 run, cutting the JMU lead to two points at 24-22 with 5:28 to play, and the teams headed to the locker room with the Dukes ahead by five (33-28). Though the Tigers pulled to within four (34-30) with 18:25 to play, JMU used a 9-0 run to pull back to a double-digit lead (43-30) with 14:49 left on the clock. Towson never got closer than nine points the rest of the contest.
The largest lead of the game for JMU was 17 points (59-42), which the Dukes reached on a pair of junior guard Precious Hall’s free throws with 4:32 left in the game. Hall led the day with 19 points, 12 of which came in the second half, for her 29th double-digit scoring performance of the season. Three of Hall’s baskets were assisted by Mickens, who dished out five helpers on the day to set a single-season record for assists (226).
Mickens also added 10 points, five rebounds and two steals in the contest. Redshirt-senior center Lauren Okafor dropped 14 points and junior guard Ashley Perez scored 11 points to round out the JMU double-figure scorers.
As a team, JMU shot 38.7 percent (24-62) from the floor while limiting Towson to a 29.6 shot percentage (16-54). The Dukes doubled up the Tigers off points in the paint 32-16 and capitalized on 17 Towson turnovers for 20 points. Towson scored just four points off eight JMU giveaways.
Redshirt-junior guard Jazmon Gwathmey led the team in both assists (6) and rebounds (9), adding six points and a steal over 34 minutes of play.
Tickets are available for the CAA Championship Tournament semifinals by clicking here. Full tournament coverage from the CAA is available at CAASports.com/WBBChampionship.
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