Sophomore Precious Hall (Tallahassee, Fla/Maclay School) dropped a career-high 25 points on Friday night to pace the JMU women’s basketball squad to a 92-59 victory over the College of Charleston at the JMU Convocation Center.
JMU moved to 6-0 in Colonial Athletic Association play, tightening its grip on first place, and upped its overall record to 16-4. Charleston fell to 4-3 against CAA foes and 11-9 overall.
Senior Kirby Burkholder (Bridgewater, Va./Turner Ashby) tied Hall for game-high points with 25, including a 7-of-7 performance at the free-throw line. She added in 12 rebounds for her sixth double-double of the season, and she now sits at 783 career rebounds, seventh-most in JMU history. Her 26th-career double-figure rebound performance helped her surpass assistant coach Jennifer Brown‘s (JMU ’08) previous mark of 779.
Redshirt senior Nikki Newman (Harrisonburg, Va./Turner Ashby) also passed Brown on the all-time rebound list by upping her career total to 780 with an eight-rebound performance against the Cougars, complimenting her eight points, six assists, four blocks and two steals. Her four blocks paced an 11-block showing by the Dukes, just one shy of JMU’s season high (12).
Junior Toia Giggetts (Norfolk, Va./Lake Taylor) and redshirt sophomore Jazmon Gwathmey (Bealeton, Va./Liberty H.S.) rounded out the double-figure scoring for the Dukes, posting 13 points and 11 points, respectively. Giggetts also notched eight rebounds while Gwathmey collected four assists.
Alyssa Frye led all Cougars with 17 points, including a 3-of-7 showing from beyond the arc. The Dukes, however, limited her to just two points in the second half. Mikaela Hopkins scored 13 points with six rebounds and two blocks while Afreyea Tolbert posted 10 points with six rebounds and a steal.
The Dukes never trailed through the game and used a 27-9 opening run to push their lead to double digits. While the Cougars closed the gap to nine points with 5:30 remaining in the first half, Hall drained a 3-pointer off a pass from Newman to push the lead back to double figures for the remainder of the game.
JMU shot 49.3 percent from the floor, including 54.5 percent from 3-point range. The Dukes’ 12 made 3-pointers tied a school record and is the most since Jan. 24, 2010 at Georgia State. The 100-percent shooting (10-of-10) from the free-throw line also marked the first time this season JMU was perfect from the charity stripe.
Charleston shot 33.8 percent from the field overall, but was held to 28.9 percent in the second half. The Cougars also went 0-of-5 from beyond the arc in the second half to finish with 40-percent shooting from the perimeter (4-10). While Charleston won the battle in second-chance points 19 to 17, Madison led in points in the paint (42-24) and points off turnovers (23-14). The Dukes also won the battle of the boards 50-37.
Next for JMU is a Tuesday-night trip to William & Mary as the Dukes face the Tribe on Feb. 4 at 7 p.m. in Williamsburg, Va.