The 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.