No. 23 James Madison women’s basketball earned an 84-60 win over Houston in the final game of the San Juan Shootout at the Mario Morales Coliseum on Saturday to improve to 5-1 on the year. Houston fell to 2-3 on the season.
Junior guard Precious Hall (Tallahassee, Fla./Maclay School) led four Dukes in double figures with 22 points, followed closely by senior center Lauren Okafor’s (Hamden, Conn./Hopkins School (Providence)) career high 21 points. Junior forward Destiny Jones (Miramar, Fla./Archbishop McCarthy) added a season-high 11 points, and junior guard Angela Mickens (Staunton, Va./Robert E. Lee) scored 10 points for the Dukes.
Okafor made it a double-double with a game-high 14 rebounds, including seven off the offensive glass.
The Dukes shot 48.4 percent from the floor, including a 53.3 percent completion in the first half, and held the Cougars to 33.3 percent overall and 27.8 percent from beyond the arc, 16.7 percent in the first half.
JMU outscored UH 19-11 in second chance points with an 18-13 edge in offensive boards.
Houston notched the first bucket of the day, but JMU posted seven straight points to take a 7-2 lead. After the Dukes and Cougars traded baskets, Madison used a 7-2 run to take its first double-digit lead of the day at 18-8 and never looked back.
A deep three from the wing by redshirt-junior guard Jazmon Gwathmey (Bealeton, Va./Liberty H.S.) gave the Dukes their largest lead of the first stanza at 21 points (40-19) with 4:06 left to play before halftime.
Over the first 20 minutes of action, JMU outscored Houston 14-2 off turnovers despite having turned the ball over more than the Cougars (8-7). The Dukes won the boards battle with a 25-13 advantage, including a 17-8 lead on the defensive end.
JMU opened the second half on a 9-1 run to push its lead to 54-27 and led by as many as 33 points (66-33) with 12:54 to play. The 33-point advantage came courtesy of a 9-0 run thanks to back-to-back-to-back 3-pointers, including a pair from freshman guard Hailee Barron (Burlington, Vt./Rice Memorial).