Opening the game on a 25-7 run, the James Madison women’s basketball team cruised to an 85-53 victory over Hampton on Saturday afternoon at the JMU Convocation Center. The win gives JMU its season-high fifth win in a row and improves its record to 9-1 while the Lady Pirates fall to 3-7 overall (1-0 MEAC) this season.
With the win, JMU has now won each of its last 14 games against opponents from the state of Virginia. The last loss came Dec. 4, 2012, in a 60-48 loss against Liberty. Since the start of the 2010-11 season, JMU is 34-7 against opponents from the Commonwealth.
After a made three-pointer by Hampton’s Malia Tate-DeFreitas with 17:18 to go in the first half, the Dukes went on a 20-2 run while holding the Lady Pirates scoreless over a stretch of 6:57 to take a commanding lead. From there, the Dukes never looked back and led by 23 at halftime with the score 44-21. The 23-point margin is the largest lead at halftime this season for the Dukes.
In the second half, Hampton (3-7) cut the JMU lead to 18 on two occasions, but that was as close as the Lady Pirates would come in the frame as the Dukes eased to the 32-point win. The final score of 85-53 was the largest margin of the day for JMU.
Junior guard Precious Hall (Tallahassee, Fla./Maclay School) scored a game-high 30 points on 9-of-18 shooting. The 30-point performance is the second 30-plus point game of the season for the Colonial Athletic Association Preseason Player of the Year, and the total was four points off her career high of 34, which was set earlier this season against Pittsburgh. It was also Hall’s seventh game in a row scoring 20-plus points. Prior to the game, she was honored with a commemorative ball for eclipsing the 1,000-career point mark. She accomplished the feat Dec. 7 on the road in a win against Davidson.
Junior guard Ashley Perez (Manchester, Conn./Manchester), playing in her first game at the Convo, scored 14 points while redshirt-senior center Lauren Okafor (Hampden, Conn./Hopkins School (Providence)) and junior guard Angela Mickens(Staunton, Va./Robert E. Lee) rounded out the double-figure scoring for the Dukes with 11 and 10 points, respectively.
Mickens finished one assist away from a double-double, but she moved into 15th on the all-time assist list with 265 in her first 73 games for the purple and gold. Guiding the way for JMU, Mickens had more assists than Hampton as a team, as the Dukes finished with a 17-8 advantage over the Lady Pirates dishing the ball.
Sophomore forward Da’Lishia Griffin (Chesapeake, Va./Western Branch) recorded a game-high 11 rebounds, which included eight on the offensive end. The mark is a career high for Griffin, surpassing her previous career high of 10 boards set against William & Mary on Feb. 4, 2014.
Tate-DeFreitas scored 20 points to lead the Lady Pirates on 5-of-26 shooting from the field. Three of her made field goals came from range, as she went 3-for-8 behind the three-point line. Kyani White was the only other player to score in double figures for Hampton, as she tallied 10 points in 36 minutes of action.
Aiding the Dukes in the first half was a 7-of-11 clip from long range. Shooting 63.6 percent from three-point land is the highest percentage in a half this season for JMU. Also helping the Dukes was a convincing advantage on points in the paint and bench points, as Madison outscored Hampton 26-16 in the paint while getting 22 points off the bench to the Lady Pirates’ nine.
The Dukes return to action Monday, Dec. 29, for the final non-conference game of the 2014-15 season against Vanderbilt in Nashville, Tenn. Tip is set for 8 p.m., 7 p.m. CST.